Parliament approves Treasury’s request to raise public debt ceiling to Ksh9 trillion
Members of Parliament on Wednesday approved the National Treasury’s request to raise public debt ceiling to Ksh9 trillion from the current Ksh6 trillion.
During the long heated debate in the chambers, MPs said the move will paint a good image for the country in the eye of donors and enable government retire old loans.
The legislatures, however, sought an assurance from the Treasury that the borrowed money shall be accounted for.
“We are not telling the government to go and borrow Ksh9 trillion, when we had a meeting with the treasury we were very clear that this Ksh9 trillion should take Kenyans to 2024 at least without asking us again to change the debt ceiling, “said John Mbadi, the minority leader, National Assembly.
The MPs slammed the government for shutting down some of the vital projects in the country, stating that it has not been spending money, a move which has seen the economy slumber.
“The economy is bad not because we are borrowing or because we have exceeded debt ceiling in the country, it’s bad because there is no liquidity and the government is not spending” said Kiambu MP Kimani Ichungwa adding that “since 10th of October not a single shilling of development expenditure has been sent out to government ministries.”
On October 8, the MPs had rejected the National Treasury’s proposal to cap the national debt at Ksh9 trillion suggesting a reduced figure of Ksh.7.5 trillion.
Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committees met with Acting National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani over the proposals on Tuesday.
National Treasury stated that the country’s current debt stands at Ksh5.8 trillion and is expected to go up to Ksh.6.3 trillion this year after it borrows to finance the current financial year. Treasury anticipates that we could hit the Ksh.9 trillion mark by 2024.
“The limit is important because Kenyans need to know how much is owed to the country by foreign entities and we need to make this as clear as possible,” said CS Yatani on Monday.