Kenyan budget 2008-09

I just skimmed through Finance Minister Kenyatta’s budget speech and I must say that I am impressed. He is cutting taxes on a few essential commodities and promises to implement business and tax laws that will make Kenya more business-friendly. And his development proposals, if followed through, will help the average Kenyan a great deal.

The best part of the budget, to me, was the allocation of Shs. 30 million (per constituency) to create high performance high schools. Being a product of a national school I think that it is time all of Kenya’s constituencies had places like Mang’u and Alliance Girls. I am hoping that someone at the education ministry will also think of expanding the Kenyan public university system to accommodate the increasing number of high school graduates.

I was disappointed though by Mr. Kenyatta’s decision to reduce the import duty on imported second hand clothes. The import duty on mitumba should not have been reduced. We need to encourage the growth of a domestic textiles industry. The job gains if such an industry were to be allowed to flourish would far outweigh the job losses in Nairobi and other urban areas. Remember Mr. Kenyatta, the three pillars are textiles, agriculture and construction!