Fiscal Analysis

Ethiopia-Somaliland agreement sparks tensions over sovereignty, trade, and territorial disputes in the Horn of Africa

Ethiopia’s agreement with breakaway region Somaliland, seeking port access in exchange for potential sovereignty recognition, could cause upheaval in the Horn of Africa. Somalia views it as an attack on its sovereignty, considering Somaliland is just a de facto country and has called upon the

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IGAD navigates turbulent geopolitics: Oil dispute, diplomatic tensions, and Sudan’s exit introduce uncertainties for the region

At first glance, the 42nd Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority for Development) Heads of State and Government held on 18th January 2023, appeared to be a productive meeting. From the released communiqué, the Heads of State reaffirmed their commitment to work together in

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Kenya’s Treasury Single Account: The move to consolidate govt finances and the impact on commercial banks

The recent approval by the Cabinet on 15th January 2024 to implement the Treasury Single Account (TSA) sets the stage for the consolidation of government finances in Kenya. Government funds have traditionally been spread across numerous bank accounts under the names of various government MDAs.

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Assessing the Feasibility of Kenya’s Proposed Unemployment Insurance Fund

Kenya is currently grappling with a challenging economic landscape characterised by a high cost of living, and the recent introduction of a housing levy has added to the financial burdens of employers and employees. Amid these economic challenges, the Unemployment Insurance Authority Bill, sponsored by

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From Nairobi to Singapore: The quest for good governance and growth

The curtains for the Africa Climate Summit 2023 closed in Nairobi on a very high note last week. The Government of Kenya deserves commendation for conceiving and hosting the Summit and placing the global discourse on climate change firmly on the international stage. If this event

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Budgetary process: Exploring the role and effectiveness of Sector Working Groups

Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, the Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury, set in motion the budget process for the financial year 2024/2025 on 18th August 2023, when he launched the Medium-Term Budget Preparation process. During the launch, Prof. Ndung’u indicated that sector working groups needed to begin their

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Budget Process: The ball is already rolling for big decisions in the 2024/2025 financial year

The budget-making process is an ongoing exercise characterised by strict timelines mandated by the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act, 2012. The National Treasury on August 18, 2023, launched the  preparation of the FY 2024/25 and the medium term budget through the formation of 

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DANCING THE TANGO WITH THE 30% ICT RULE

Policies pegged on local/foreign shareholding of companies in Kenya have been mired in controversy since 2006 when the local shareholding of foreign companies was reduced to 20% to attract foreign investments. This allowed investors to retain up to 70% of their equity, demonstrating the government’s

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The IMF conundrum: risks and opportunities for Kenya on its increased engagement with the IMF.

Kenya’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently come under scrutiny as the country seeks to address its economic challenges and secure external financial support through the Resilience and Sustainability Fund.  While partnering with the IMF offers opportunities for economic stabilisation and growth,

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A reprieve to Kenyans but dire consequences to the exchequer after suspension of the Finance Act 2023

After President William Ruto assented to the Finance Bill, 2023, on June 6, the bill became law. This meant that some of the provisions of the law were to take immediate effect from July 1, 2023, while some would become effective in September and others

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Comprehensive analysis of the delayed National Automotive Policy

The motor vehicle industry in Kenya peaked in the 1980s with the local production of the Nyayo Car being a highlight. However, the liberalisation of the economy negatively impacted the growth of this industry with the introduction of imported second-hand car parts. The National Automotive

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What the conservatory orders on the Finance Act mean to Kenya’s medium-term strategy, 2023

The High Court on Friday, June 30, issued orders suspending the further implementation of the new Finance Act, 2023. The case was filed by Busia Senator Okiya Omtata who argued that the Act is illegal as it was approved by the National Assembly without the

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Unveiling the new NHIF rates: A closer look at the strategic focus and implications

From the manifesto, Kenya Kwanza emphasised its commitment to realise the constitutional right to health in the shortest time possible by delivering a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) system. This was meant to be built on three pillars. The first pillar is a fully publicly financed

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A break in the clouds of the 2023/2024 budget

Kenya Kwanza’s maiden budget has received some criticism since its presentation to the National Assembly, however, there are some commendable aspects in major sectors. The budget has been crowned as a path to growth, stabilisation and economic turn-around with the foreseen tough times that Kenyans

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An analysis of the trade deal between Kenya and the EU

On Monday, 19th June 2023, President William Ruto oversaw the political conclusion of the negotiations for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Kenya and the European Union (EU). The negotiations were spearheaded by European Commission Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis and Cabinet

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Key tax highlights in the Finance Bill: An overview of notable proposed changes

Following the tabling of the Finance Bill, 2023 before the National Assembly on 28th April 2023, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Economic Planning (CS) read his budget statement on 15th June 2023. He outlined a series of tax policy measures for the fiscal

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Kenya’s 2023/2024 Budget: Highlights of the allocations

On Thursday 15th June, the Budget for the financial year of 2023/2024 was read before the National Assembly, highlighting the government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda. This was pursuant to Standing Order No. 241 of the National Assembly and Section 40 of the Public Finance Management

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Budget Making Process

    Develop and issue Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) guidelines     Launch of sector working groups     Development of Medium-Term Budget Framework (BROP)     Preparation and submission MTEF Sector Budget Proposal     Preparation and submission of Budget Policy Statement    

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Review of the Finance and Committee Planning Report on the Finance Bill, 2023

Highlights of the Finance Bill, 2023 The Finance Bill, 2023 has made several proposals in various sectors and sub-sectors that play a major role in spurring Kenya’s economic growth. Some of these sectors include but are not limited to manufacturing, digital and creative economy, climate

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Kenya Kwanza’s First Budget: Tough choices towards recovery plan, stability and growth.

The first budget of President William Ruto’s administration, geared towards an economic turnaround and inclusive growth, came against a background of a challenging domestic and external environment. Over the past year, the country has suffered a series of devastating negative and persistent shocks that include

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Examining the Legal Instruments of the Malabo 2014 Conference: Implications and Significance of Ratification for Kenya

President William Ruto stated that Kenya would ratify one of the Malabo Treaties (2014) focusing on empowering the Pan-African Parliament to be a proficient legislative organ of the African Union (AU) by September 2023. This arm of the AU only has advisory and consultative powers

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Analysing the government’s justification behind the Finance Bill

The Finance Bill 2023 proposes a raft of tax measures, some of which appear to have explored some uncharted territory. This is the first Bill under the new regime and it is grappling with several challenges. A good number of the proposals are aimed at

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Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review: Analysis of 3rd Quarter FY2022/2023 (Ending March 31, 2023)

The National Treasury recently published the Third Quarter report for the financial year 2022/2023 per the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015. Below are some of the highlights of the Report.    Economic Growth   The report reveals that economic growth witnessed in

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An analysis of the salient features of Economic Survey 2023

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) recently published the Economic Survey 2023. Economic surveys are aimed at promoting a better understanding of the economic situation and key challenges facing the government and pointing towards ways of improving overall economic performance. Economic growth in 2022

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Finance Bill 2023: Is it the Breaking Point for Overburdened Kenyan Taxpayers?

The Finance Bill, 2023 which has got many tongues wagging across the country was tabled before the National Assembly on Thursday, May 4, 2023, by the National Treasury. The Bill proposes an array of tax changes geared towards expanding the tax base and raising revenue

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KNTC to go the duty-free shops’ way in low-income areas to provide basic commodities at lower prices

Kenyans who travel by air are familiar with the concept of duty-free shops. This is where one buys specific goods such as perfumes, cosmetics, tobacco and hard liquor at lower prices because import duty has not been charged in shops located in airports. The Kenya

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Main Feature: World Economic Outlook Report 2023: Insights into the rocky path to recovery

What is the IMF? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established in 1944 in the aftermath of the Great Depression in the 1930s. At the founding stage, the membership of the IMF comprised 44 member states. The membership has grown to a near-global status, with

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Highlights of the Finance Bill 2023: Tax changes and proposals by Kenya Kwanza government

The Finance Bill 2023 is the first fiscal legislative proposal under the Kenya Kwanza administration, aimed at implementing the Bottom Up Transformation Agenda. The Kenyan economy is expected to maintain a 6.1% growth rate over the medium term, with leading indicators showing strong performance in

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An overview of the Tax Procedures Act (No. 29 Of 2015) (Common Reporting Standards) Regulations, 2023

The Tax Procedures (Common Reporting Standards) Regulations, 2023 took effect on January 1, 2023. The Regulations are significant steps towards the global movement to increase tax transparency due to the increase in cross-border transactions that at times may lead to tax evasion and tax planning.

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To fight alcoholism, govt must not ignore the economy and illicit drinks

President William Ruto recently made a pronouncement that it was high time the country fought against alcoholism. The President’s statement was as a result of the increased rate of alcohol and drug abuse in Central Kenya which has been attributed to unregulated alcohol selling joints. 

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Snooping on tax evaders: Balancing between protection of personal data and KRA’s bid to monitor transactions

As the world marks Data Privacy Day on 28th January 2023, Kenya has been busy this week with a series of activities organized by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) to commemorate the day. The week-long events will culminate in a two-day Data

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Ruto administration to merge higher education funding and placement to enhance efficiency amidst row over bursaries in counties

President William Ruto has denounced claims that he plans to get rid of the Higher Education Loan Board (HELB). Speaking during an interview with journalists at State House, Nairobi, on Friday, January 6, he said his administration is geared towards strategic measures and solutions for

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The year in review: Highlights of key legislative and policy updates

The year 2022 saw the introduction of several legislative and regulatory updates. Similarly, Kenya launched some notable policies and strategies whose implementation will impact both the private and public sectors. As 2022 draws to a close, we look back at some of the key legislative

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2nd December 2022 Political and Regulatory Round Up

KENYA   End of an era for Uhuru Principal Secretaries   The reign of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Principal Secretaries comes to an end today as those appointed by President William Ruto take over.   The new PSs will be sworn in from 7a.m. today

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The tragedy of collapsed buildings: Where we are getting it wrong and the antidote

In the past two weeks, at least four apartments have collapsed in the counties of Kiambu and Nairobi, claiming lives and damaging property worth millions of shillings. The World Bank estimates that Kenya has a housing shortage of at least two million homes, which rises

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GBV: Unlearning retrogressive values and practices for the promotion of gender equality By Wangui Gichohi-Njoroge

Violence against women, as defined by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, is any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suf­fering to women, including threats of such acts, whether occurring in

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Surveillance measures be used to prevent muggings in the Kenya

Taming crime in Kenya: Heightening surveillance way to go in curbing insecurity  In the past few weeks, there has been an increase in crime in Kenya. Videos have surfaced showing civilians being robbed at gunpoint, purses and phones being snatched from pedestrians and drivers among

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Proposed constitutional amendments and their risks

Constitution or leadership and governance crisis: Why Kenya does not need sweeping changes in the supreme law While the new government should be working in order to deliver its pledges to Kenyans, who for the last few months have been struggling to make ends meet,

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The future of Digital Credit Providers under new regulations to protect consumers

Kenya has been a home for many digital lending apps, which are popular for their unsecured and instant loans disbursed through mobile phones. Unlike banks and Saccos where one is required to have a guarantor, these digital credit providers (DCPs) do not make it a

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Highlights of the State of the Banking Industry Report, 2021

The Kenya Bankers Association Centre for Research on Financial Markets and Policy released the third annual State of the Banking Industry (SBI) Report on 27th July, 2021. It focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the banking industry and its pass-through effects to

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Key Strategies in the Transformation of Kenya’s Tax Administration

Dr Mohamed Omar – KRA Commissioner – Strategy, Innovation and Risk Management Tax systems go through changes over time, as economies and societies equally evolve. Tax administration in Kenya has been going through reforms, most notably over the last ten years when the intentional use

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The draft Capital Markets (Investment Based Crowdfunding) Regulations, 2021.

The Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury and Planning is proposing to make the Capital Markets (Investment Based Crowdfunding) Regulations, 2021. The Regulations will apply to investment-based crowdfunding platforms in Kenya. They will also apply to persons who are operating investment-based crowdfunding platforms in Kenya. 

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More than 5.5 million taxpayers file returns as filing period closes

More than 5.5 million taxpayers filed their tax returns for the year 2020 as the filing period officially closed at midnight on Wednesday 30th June 2021. This means that 1.1 million more taxpayers turned out to file their returns this year compared to the 4.4

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Unfavourable tax policies that continue to constrain the growth of the sorghum value chain

The story of sorghum based beer in Kenya illustrates the importance of government policy for the development of smallholder value chains. This has been evidenced by the changes in tax policy for sorghum based beer which in the recent past has been quite successful owing

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File your Annual Tax Return to avoid penalties for Non-compliance

By Rispah Simiyu  Worldwide, a good tax compliance score is a fundamental aspect for the smooth running of any business or any profession. Contrary to popular belief, tax compliance is not entirely defined by payment of taxes only. Filing of tax returns is equally an

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The Kenya Revenue Authority launched the 8th Corporate Plan 2021/2022 – 2023/2024

This Plan is the eighth in the life cycle of the Authority and runs under the Theme: Revenue Mobilization through tax simplification, technology-driven compliance and Tax Base expansion. In this Plan, the Vision remains to be ‘A globally trusted revenue agency facilitating tax and customs

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Kenya Budget Statement FY 2021/2022 theme: Building back better: Strategy for resilient and sustainable economic recovery and inclusive growth

INTRODUCTION Aptly themed, this year’s Kshs. 3 Trillion budget aims to focus on economic recovery in the wake of the Covid19 Pandemic which has occasioned increased poverty and vulnerability levels across the country. In his speech, CS (Amb.) Ukur Yatani noted that the main focus

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National Treasury PS notes Post-Budget reading as captured at the KEPSA partnership with PWC and the British Chamber of Commerce Kenya (BCCK) National Budget Webinar.

“We believe the policies that we have laid down will be able to keep inflation down, interest rates will be controlled, balance of payments will be also managed properly, and also the Kenyan shillings exchange rate, we are expecting it to remain stable on account

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Request for proposals on the Budget Statement FY 2021/2022

The Kenya National Treasury has invited members of the public to contribute to the final Budget Statement for the FY 2021/2022 which will be delivered in Parliament on 10th June, 2021. In this respect, the public is invited to share their proposals via email at:

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Finance Bill, 2021

TAX AMENDMENTS HIGHLIGHTS Introduction: The Finance Bill, 2021 was published on 05th May 2021. The reason for publishing the Bill early, as was the case in 2020, was to comply with the ruling by Justice Winfrida Okwany referencing Petition Number 253 of 2018 where the

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Public Bodies and data protection: What you need to know

Public bodies are expected to comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 2019. The Act defines a data controller as a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purpose and means of

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At the peak of the Budget Cycle – FY 2021/2022

Oxygéne MCL in partnership with the Institute of Public Finance, Kenya (IPFK) launched the Shadow Budget Report for the Financial Year 2021/2022 on 28th April, 2021. The event was attended by stakeholders- both state and non-state actors. Key issues that came up during the inaugural

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First National Shadow Budget roots for a predictable tax regime and urgent debt management

A shadow National Budget published by a local public affairs and policy analysis consortium has called for the urgent adoption of a predictable tax regime to foster economic growth and mitigate a looming external debt default situation. The Shadow Budget, dubbed “Road to Recovery” and

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A ruling against Minimum taxes

Earlier this week, the High Court of Kenya vide a ruling in the Constitutional Petition No. E005 of 2021, a case of Stanley Waweru & 3 others (the Petitioners) V National Assembly, the Commissioner General, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Attorney General (the Respondents), paused

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New rules for Data Protection

The Officer of the Data Protection Commissioner released Draft Data Protection Regulations earlier this week for public participation. The Regulations comprises: The Data Protection (Compliance and Enforcement) Regulations – The Regulations outline the compliance and enforcement provisions for Data Commissioner, Data Controllers and Data Processors.

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Increasing ease of doing business in Kenya

The Business Laws (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2021 (“New Act”) was signed into law on 30th March 2021, thereby coming into effect straightaway. The new Act amends various laws and  is part of the reforms that are aimed at facilitating ease of doing business in

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A win for children and families in Kenya

The Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was signed into law on 30th March 2021. The new Act – Employment (Amendment) Act, 2021 came into force on 15th April 2021. The Act goes a long way in supporting the adoption of children in Kenya. The Act amends

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Division of revenue and County fund allocation

The Division of Revenue Bill (DoRB), 2021 proposes to allocate to County Governments Ksh.409.88 billion in the financial year (FY) 2021/22, which relative to the financial year 2020/21 allocation, reflects an increase of Ksh.53.5 billion or 16.9 %. This allocation comprises; equitable share of Ksh.370

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BPS and Trade sector – General Economic and Commercial Affairs(GECA)

In the MTEF period 2017/18-2019/20, the total approved budget for the sector’s programmes and sub programmes was 78.9 Billion Ksh, while the actual expenditure was 66.47 Billion Ksh.
This represented 84.6% absorption level.

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Part 2 on the BUDGET SERIES: Which way forward for Kenya’s economy? Highlights of Kenya’s economic outlook and proposed recommendations

The Kenyan economy is currently facing significant challenges as a result of the COVID-19 (C19) exacerbating an already grim situation. Despite having attained a lower middle income status in 2014, Kenya has failed to adequately address institutional and structural inadequacies that have continued to hinder

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Minimum tax is an idea worth pursuing

Taxing businesses on profits as
it has always been means
that loss making entities
comfortably escape the
taxman’s noose. Bear
in mind that the onus of
determining profits or losses
rests on the taxpayer.

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Kenya National Budget Part 1: Building back better: Strategy for resilient and sustainable economic recovery

KENYA NATIONAL BUDGET The current state of engagement between the state and the public on matters related to budget allocations, expenditures, and actual service delivery outcomes is mostly focused on printed and actual figures and narratives already approved for execution. There is limited engagement at

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National Treasury request for comments on the Draft 2021 Budget Policy Statement for the MTEF FY 2021/22-2023/24 Budget

The National Treasury has finalized the Draft 2021 Budget Policy Statement for the MTEF FY 2021/22 -2023/24 budget which is available at the National Treasury website www.treasury.go.ke. and it invites comments on it.

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Kenya on course to implement global tax exchange of information protocols by 2022

SPECIAL FEATURE: The Kenya Government has reiterated its commitment in implementing international standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes as part of a national effort to curb tax evasion and illicit financial flows. Speaking at the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and

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Government priorities for Energy, Infrastructure and ICT

In Kenya’s national finance cycle, the Energy, Infrastructure and ICT Sector (EII) comprises nine sub-sectors namely:  Energy and Petroleum;  Infrastructure;  Transport;  Shipping and Maritime;  Housing and Urban Development;  Public Works;  Information Communication and Technology;  Broadcasting and Telecommunications.  The Sector aims at providing efficient, affordable and

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Private Sector engagement in the budget making process

The Kenya budget cycle is well on its way and is in fact half way through with the National Treasury and Planning having just concluded the public hearings for FY 2021/22 and Medium-Term budget proposals. The budget is the most important policy through which the

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Highlights of the first quarterly economic and budgetary review report in the 2020/21 FY

10.7%
Growth in broad money supply, M3, improved to 10.7
percent in the year to September 2020 compared to a
growth of 6.5 percent in the year to September 2019.

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Status of payments to County Governments

The National Treasury and Planning published a public statement on the status of payments to county governments. The Statement was published to inform citizens about the quantum of funds transferred to County Governments in FY 2019/20 and in preceding years. By the end of FY

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People’s Money: Harnessing digitalisation to finance a sustainable future

A report on the role that digitization shall play in financing a sustainable future was released this week by the UN Secretary General Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The taskforce was established as part of the roadmap for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: 2019-2021 and its mandate is to recommend and catalyse ways to harness digitalization in accelerating financing of the SDGs.

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KRA Finance Act 2020 Stakeholder Awareness

The Kenya Revenue Authority held a Stakeholder Engagement on Thursday, August 13, 2020 to create awareness of the provisions of the Finance Act 2020.

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OECD VIEW: KENYA CORPORATE TAX POLICY LEADING GLOBALLY

Setting Trends Earlier this week, KRA released a press statement highlighting the findings of OECD report on corporate taxation. The Global report has identified Kenya as one of the leading countries currently fostering tax reforms for economic growth. The report by the OECD dubbed Corporate

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FINANCE BILL 2020: PARLIAMENT’S VIEW

TABLING OF COMMITTEE REPORT On 18th of June 2020, the National Assembly held its plenary session. Hon. Joseph Kirui Limo, the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and Planning laid before the House the Committee’s report on its consideration of the Finance Bill 2020.

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BUDGET 2020: UGANDA HIGHLIGHTS

The Uganda 2020/21 national budget is based on the theme: Stimulating the economy to safeguard livelihoods, jobs, business and industrial recovery. It was delivered by Hon. Matia Kasaija Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development on 11th June 2020.

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MORE TAX FROM THE ONLINE WORLD

On 2nd June 2020, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning Published Draft Value Added Tax (Digital Marketplace Supply) Regulations, 2020 for public review and comment. The draft Regulations are to give effect to the VAT Act as amended by the Finance Act, 2019 providing for levying of VAT on services rendered in the ‘digital market place’.

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MPs issue fresh threats to CBK boss on Sh1-million rule

Three House committees are angry at the Governor for the CBK’s failure to submit crucial but unpopular regulations.

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