Letters

Policy areas derailing Vision 2030 journey

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Vision 2030 Centre in South C, Nairobi, in August 2020: Let’s go beyond rosy figures.PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

Summary

  • Effective communication boosts consumer confidence which is a fundamental driving force for the economy.
  • Politics has a huge impact on the Kenyan economy, especially as far as Vision 2030 is concerned.
  • Optimistic expectations regarding the future general economic situation are healthy to the economy.

Recently, the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board and Kenya Editors Guild convened a forum to create national awareness about the progress of this economic blueprint and the journey ahead. This is a step in the right direction.

Effective communication boosts consumer confidence which is a fundamental driving force for the economy. Consumers that have a more positive economic outlook report more positive spending intentions that boost domestic demand.

There have been strides in the implementation of Vision 2030 economic, social and political pillars. However, it's open knowledge poverty, inequality, youth unemployment, insecurity and gender inequality are still entrenched in the Kenyan economy. Therefore, publicity will not make the dull facts of the economy such as poverty disappear overnight.

As we approach the August 9, 2022, general election, the political elite choreographed slogans, manifestos and mantras should instill confidence and hope in the electorate. Politics has a huge impact on the Kenyan economy, especially as far as Vision 2030 is concerned.

Optimistic expectations regarding the future general economic situation are healthy to the economy.

Political sloganeering can adversely affect the thinking capability of individuals and inculcate destructive thinking patterns in the economy.

Also, it’s important to address the following policy areas, that derail Vision 2030 blueprint full implementation.

One, the low allocation of development expenditure. For instance, the approved budget for the national government in the financial year 2021/22 amounted to Sh3.66 trillion, with only Sh135 billion being allocated for the Big 4 Agenda projects, namely food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and universal health coverage.

Section 15(2)(a) of the PFM Act, 2012 provides that over the medium term, a minimum of 30 percent of the national and county governments budget shall be allocated to the development expenditure.

There is an urgent need for the national treasury to ensure that allocation towards development expenditure is within the law.

Two, delays in Exchequer releases affect the timely delivery of services and contribute to huge pending bills. The stipulated 25 percent of the annual estimates of the Exchequer releases must be disbursed by the end of the first quarter.

Three, the high level of public debt. Increased reckless public borrowing has resulted in undesirable fiscal consequences. As of June 2021, the gross public debt stood at Sh7.7 trillion. The government while borrowing should ensure that its financing needs and payment obligations are at the lowest market cost and with prudent risk.

Four, tax corruption. There is a need to effectively and sustainably curb corruption in tax administration. The costly vices of money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance by flamboyant businessmen and women, who greatly free-ride the favourable macroeconomic environment, are key impediments that the taxman must confront in the journey to meeting its revenue targets.

The right kind of policy mix, political will and determination, will augment economic growth, that will improve the well-being of citizens which would automatically translate to reducing poverty, creating jobs and promoting sustainable human development that will transform Kenya into a newly industrialising and upper-middle-income economy.