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Uhuru signs controversial Finance Bill into law

President Kenyatta (sitting) during the sighing
President Kenyatta (sitting) during the sighing into law of the Finance Bill 2018. Present during the signing at State House, Nairobi, were Deputy President William Ruto, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. PHOTO | COURTESY  

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday signed into law the Finance Bill 2018, which was passed by parliament amid protest by a section of law makers on Thursday.

In twitter post on Friday, President Kenyatta, who on Tuesday whipped Jubilee Party Members of Parliament into backing his recommendations on the Finance Bill, vowed to ensure prudent use of financial resources.

“I have signed into law the finance bill 2018. I give my commitment that I will ensure proper utilisation of public resources for a better Kenya. I will not relent on the war against corruption,” he said.

With the victory, Mr Kenyatta now has the legal mandate to levy the new taxes he hopes will raise the Sh130 billion he needs to keep his spending plans on track.

The President  intends to raise Sh17.5 billion from eight per cent VAT on petroleum products, Sh9.8 billion from the “kerosene adulteration” tax while imposition of Sh20 per kilogramme of sugar confectionery, including white chocolate, will raise Sh473 million.

He has also succeed in pushing through the 1.5 per cent levy for the National Housing Development Fund that is expected to generate about Sh57 billion a year.

Under the Housing Development Fund plan, an employer and employee are separately required to contribute 1.5 per cent of the monthly basic salary so long as the sum of the employer and the employee contributions does not exceed Sh5, 000.

He also expects to raise Sh20.2 billion from the 12 per cent excise duty on fees charged for mobile money transfer services, the 15 per cent excise duty on telephone and internet data services and the 20 per cent duty on fees charged for money transfer services.

Mr Kenyatta also signed into law the Coast Guard Bill 2018, which marks an important milestone in the management and enforcement of laws in Kenya’s internal and territorial waters.

The Coast Guard Act 2018 establishes the Kenya Coast Guard Service, which will be responsible for enforcing maritime security and safety, pollution control and sanitation measures as well as prosecution of offenders.

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