President Ruto to take charge of process to unlock VAT refund nightmare

President William Ruto gives his first Mashujaa Day address at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi on October 20, 2022. PHOTO | NMG

President William Ruto will take charge of a push to unravel the challenges that inhibit investment in Kenya including tackling the VAT refund headache that has become a moving target for the government.

The head of State vowed to ensure timely refunds of VAT on construction inputs in a bid to flatten challenges inhibiting investment and close the housing gap of two million units.

During his Mashujaa Day address, Dr Ruto noted that despite the VAT exemption on inputs being enacted to lower construction costs, investors are yet to reap the benefits.

Delays in implementation of the VAT exemption on items such as steel, cement and paint means developers incur high costs making home ownership to remain a dream for many Kenyans.

“I will personally take charge of the process to unlock the challenges that inhibit investment,” he said.

The Kenya Kwanza administration seeks to increase the supply of housing units fourfold from the current 50,000 annually.

Beyond the provision of affordable housing, the government sees an opportunity to create jobs in the manufacturing sector and that will spur economic growth.

Dr Ruto has since his inauguration been on a charm offensive to woo the business community to deliver his economic growth agenda with the latest engagement being with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

Earlier in the week, the President promised manufacturers a predictable tax regime as part of support to boost investment in the sector and create more jobs.

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