This year’s budget has been analysed as a balance between debt and hope. Debt because almost half of it will go into debt repayment and hope because it’s meant to revive the economy after the Covid-19 disruption.
Whereas, the pandemic is not man-made, the debt distress is, and it’s made worse by use of commercial loans instead of concessional loans, which are cheaper and take longer to pay. And, whereas we may want to lay the blame entirely on the government, certainly we all have played a part in it: The decisions we make at the ballot affect us for many years thereafter.
Everything has a price tag. The price of the welfare programmes in the Constitution — such as free secondary education, cash transfers to the vulnerable, the presidential bursary and the mega infrastructure projects — is the debt we have to shoulder.
Mathani wa Kaboi, Kirinyaga
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The Treasury CS allocated tens of billions of shillings to development projects, irrigation included. In such projects, a lot of money goes to waste or is stolen because we’re too lazy to demand results and ask tough questions.
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The Sh27 billion allocation for the standard gauge railway in the 2021/22 budget is not clear. It’s apparent that the works have been completed and commissioned up to Longonot. Kenyans should be given an itemised breakdown of the SGR budget to clear the air.
Opiyo Oduwo, Kisumu
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The 2021/22 budget was dubbed “Building Back Better: Strategy for resilient and sustainable ever recovery and inclusive growth”. Treasury CS Ukur Yatani raised optimism of Kenya’s economic recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic. I’m impressed with the Sh23 billion allocation to leverage ICT to spur economic recovery — for instance, development of Konza Data Centre and smart city.
But as we move to the digital future, the government should consider the following. First, to strengthen intellectual property rights to protect ideas. Secondly, ensuring there is affordable internet access. Thirdly, having in place a clean legal system through government regulations to tackle risks like cyber threats. Fourth, access to electricity. Those measures will be crucial in attaining a digital economy that will be transformative.
Davis Basweti Ombane, Kiambu
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The 2021/2022 budget failed to address and forecast foreign currency inflows into the economy. Without attracting foreign currency by way of trade into the country, The National Treasury may not be able to finance the ambitious budget.
Michael Kinuthia, Nairobi