Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u warns Kenyans of tough times ahead
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung'u has warned Kenyans to brace themselves for tough times ahead saying the country's financial crisis is rising to unimaginable levels.
Speaking during the public hearing of the budget-making process that brought together stakeholders from different sectors including representatives from the Executive and the Legislature, the Treasury boss also called for austerity measures in the ministries including the suspension of any new development projects.
“From all the things we have analyzed... 2023 is not looking good, there are clear signals that it is going to be a tough year,” said the CS.
Prices of commodities and particularly household goods continue to be the government's headache with President William Ruto insisting that subsidy programs that existed before, plunged the country into financial headwinds. The exchequer is now turning its energy to tax collection to boost the revenue figures.
“2023-2024 medium term will be revenue collection so that we bring on board additional revenue..,” he said.
As the process to craft President Ruto's first budget for the 2023 - 2024 Financial Year begins, the ballooning wage bill that stands at over Ksh.900 billion remains a major hindrance to the delivery of services with Treasury and Parliament's budget-making office calling for measures to contain wage bill both at the national and county levels.
“The salaries that pay us is approximately Ksh.900 billion, the recurrent to maintain us is about Ksh.600 billion, we must tame this appetite, we must look at our revenues,” says Budget Committee Chair Ndindi Nyoro.
Treasury has also lamented on the wastage of resources by various government departments and called on strict austerity measures to manage the public coffers.
Multibillion shillings stalled projects dotted across the country continue to sink taxpayers' money with Treasury directing that all ministries must first complete the pending projects before commissioning new ones.
“We don't want you to start new projects before you start new ones... we don't want wastage of resources, we have idle equipment on site, there are on loans we must look into this,” said Treasury PS Chris Kiptoo.
The World Bank on Tuesday released a report warning that the global economy this year is projected to shrink and many countries in the world will experience financial shocks with the lowest GDP growth.
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