We must live within our means for economic growth, President Ruto now says

We must live within our means for economic growth: President Ruto

What you need to know:

  • As doctors demand better pay, president reiterates government can't spend money it doesn't have.
  • President Ruto has reiterated his position that for Kenya to move forward, it must live within its means by cutting spending.
  • President Ruto said his government has reduced the 2024/2025 budget from Sh4.2 trillion to Sh3.7 trillion.

President William Ruto says the government is determined to cut down on budgetary expenditure, terming it reckless and irresponsible to spend beyond what it can afford.

The President, speaking in West Pokot County yesterday, reiterated his position that for Kenya to move forward, it should live within its means by cutting down on expenditure, enhancing its revenue, reducing wastage, stopping corruption, and making the right decisions.

“We must live within our means. We cannot spend money that we do not have, and we cannot have a budget that we cannot fund. That is why we have to cut down on expenditure,” he said, against the backdrop of demands by doctors for enhanced pay.

While commissioning the Sh45 billion Cemtech Limited Clinker Plant, an investment of Devki Group of Companies in Sebit, West Pokot County, President Ruto said his government has cut down the 2024/2025 budget from Sh4.2 trillion that Parliament had proposed to Sh3.7 trillion.

“We are removing Sh500 billion because we must cut our cloth according to our size. We cannot continue living large. It would be reckless, irresponsible, and a betrayal to Kenyans if we continue to borrow money and risk our country defaulting when we know we can live within our means by cutting down on our expenditure. We are going to make the right decisions,” he stated.

“Last year when we decided to stop unnecessary subsidies and now the price of flour and fuel have gone down, as well as the dollar, and Kenya has come from the worst to the best stock exchange. We believe we can make the right decisions and we should be producing and exporting from Kenya,” he stated.

Dr Ruto reiterated the government’s commitment to protect local industries from the threat of unnecessary imports to boost the economy and create jobs.

“It is not reasonable to provide duty and levy exemptions to importers of goods that can be produced locally, that is the commitment I made to the country. We are not going to be importing cement clinker, steel, furniture, we are going to manufacture locally,” he stated.

He said his vision is to make Kenya an export hub for the African region, noting that the country can manufacture for the export market.

“I hear some people telling me sometimes that goods manufactured in Kenya are not of good quality and I tell them we should drive a Datsun made in Kenya than a Rolls Royce made elsewhere. Slowly we are going to make our own Mercedes,” he said.

Celebrating Devki Group’s investment portfolio in Kenya, he lauded its Executive Chairman Dr Raval Nahendra for demonstrating great confidence in Kenya as an investment destination and religiously honouring its commitment to the taxpayer.

“We are here to celebrate the milestone in their ambitious expansion of their industrial footprints in Kenya,” the President said, noting that it was a monumental step in Kenya’s industrialisation journey.

President Ruto said the company’s investment record in steel and cement manufacturing is commendable.

“It takes courage for one to invest Sh150 billion, even if it counted in whatever currency, USD1billion is enormous,” he said, noting that West Pokot is about to experience an economic resurgence associated with the new factory.

“He is my friend and he believes in Kenya. It is not common to meet people who are patriotic to the extent of putting their money into such investments. This factory was licensed 13 years ago but didn’t take off because people had excuses of insecurity and imports. But Devki came onto the scene, Mr Raval is a man who believes in Kenya and has shown patriotism. He has overcome those challenges and excuses and that is why today we have an investment of Sh45billion in West Pokot,” he said.

He said Devki strongly illustrates the power of investment to promote self-sufficiency and export production, create employment increase economic activity, utilise local resources, and generate attractive returns for both the investors and the country.

“It also demonstrates the vision behind the Bottom-Up economic transformation agenda by outlining the role of investment manufacturing and industrializing in enhancing the country’s self-sufficiency and export performance,” said the President.

“It is the path to achieve 20 percent of our GDP by 2030 and Devki Group has shown this target is within reach,” he said.

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