Today the minister for finance presented his budget statement for the year 2012/2013 and I have the following comments.
On the positive side the early childhood teachers will now be paid for by Gok while 1 billion has been set aside to combat drug and
substance abuse that is destroying millions of especially young people.
The budget for infrastructure went up and some money set aside for police vehicles as well as to hire 3500 police personel to deal with the security matters. Additional ten thousand teachers will be hired.
The minister could have certainly done better in some areas;
1)Matters of youth and women empowerment must go beyond the tokenism in the one billion allocated to both the youth and women dev funds. For a start both funds(like CDF) should be elevated to 5% ( that is 25 to 30billion) each year thereby availing cheap credit to millions of women and youth which will stimulate business in agro and other tradable items, enterprise and even expand agriculture. The management of this funds should ( like CDF )be constituency based. If the country is really serious about youth empowerment nothing short of a youth master plan to comprehensively adress education, training,employment and jobs creation.
2) security is a major concern to every Kenyan, foreign and local investors, and tourists. Insecurity continue to seriously undermine economic growth, erode investor confidence, and limit visitor numbers to our tourist attractions collectively making it impossible to
grow the economy by double digits at all let alone for a long time as envisaged in vision 2030. A business as usual approach will
certainly not sort out these security concerns. Purchase of security hardware must be subjected to a competitive process supervised by parliament to avoid the secrecy currently surrounding such purchases making the tax payer to twice or thrice the actual cost. The police personel and vehicles should not be the token numbers suggested in the budget instead three times would be reasonable.
3)The food production budget should have been expanded so as to modernize agriculture by bringing into production the 2.5 million acres of uncultivated land through better access to farm imputs, enhanced mechanization and expanded irrigation. The agri business credit line should be made accessible and interest charged managed so as to expand value addition for agr products, give better
returns to farmers and creat job opportunities. The shame of millions of citizens not being able to afford a meal, 50 years after
independence, should surely be behind us.
Source: Hon. William S. Ruto