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Treasury CS tells Kenyans to brace for a rough 2023

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Professor Njuguna Ndung'u has asked Kenyans to brace for tough times ahead, projecting that 2023 will be a rough year for the economy.

Treasury CS Prof Njuguna Ndungu

During the public hearings of the budget-making process, CS Ndung'u called for austerity measures in government ministries, including suspending on any new development projects.

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He forecasted that the country's financial crisis was likely to rise to unimaginable levels.

"The outlook for 2023 is not looking very good. There are clear signals that it is going to be a tough year. The global economy is one good example of where we are heading," he said.

The CS stated that low-income countries have been hit hard by supply disruptions, debt, surges in food and commodity prices, and the devastating effects of climate change.

He added that according to the latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global GDP growth is likely to slow from 3.2% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023.

However, he explained that the government's bottom-up economic policy would grow the local economy by 5%.

Professor Ndung'u said that the emphasis would be on aggressive revenue mobilization, including policy measures to raise additional revenue and reduce the impact of rising debt on Kenya's economy.

National Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Ndindi Nyoro stated that, despite global inflation, the cost of living in Kenya was compounded by the scarcity of food and resources.

He reiterated that the country should not continue the borrowing spree for recurrent expenditure or compare Kenya's economy to other heavily indebted countries such as Japan and the US, whose debt-to-GDP ratios are over 100%.

"We cannot continue to perpetuate borrowing by referencing countries that borrow and are doing well," he said.

The tough year will further be compounded by the decision by President William Ruto to end fuel, unga and electricity subsidies that had been put in place to tame the cost of living.

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