Farmers’ Party leader, Irungu Nyakera, has submitted a memorandum to the National Treasury regarding the Finance Bill.
Clerk of the National Assembly Samuel Njoroge early this week said that Kenyans have until May 20 to submit their views on this year’s Finance Bill
He said in a public notice that the correspondence can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.
The Bill is proposing changes to the Employment Act to allow deductions of three percent from employees’ basic pay to help fund President William Ruto’s ambitious plan to build low-cost homes.
In a press statement to the media, Farmers’ party leader Irungu Nyakera has also said that the government should empower Kenyans and agricultural sectors across the Country.
Nyakera said that Farmers Party has noted the proposed amendments of moving items such as agricultural pest control products, transportation of sugarcane, and fertilizers from zero-rated to exempt
“The proposed reclassification of items from zero-rated to exempt is expected to have significant impacts on both the agriculture sector and the overall economy. The reclassification will result in an increase in the cost of production for suppliers, who will then pass on the cost to farmers. This will lead to a rise in the cost of food for consumers, “he said.
In addition, Nyakera said that the proposed reclassification will impact the subsidized fertilizer program, as input VAT incurred in supplying the fertilizer will become a cost to entities supplying fertilizer to the government.
Nyakera noted that the memorandum submitted focuses on areas that, if taxed differently, would make farming in Kenya uneconomical and would further hurt farmers economically.
“The Purpose of our submission therefore is to request that the agricultural items that have been moved from zero rated to exempt or from exempt to standard rated for taxation be reverted to their current status. This will allow farming to remain competitive and minimize the high costs that farmers will otherwise have to bear,” he said.
He also called on the government to increase its allocation to agriculture from 1.39% of the budget to the 10% required under the Maputo Declaration, to which Kenya is a signatory.
“We have also called on the government to increase allocation to agriculture from a paltry 1.39% of budget to the 10% required under Maputo Declaration, where Kenya is a signatory. Finally, let us not prioritize areas that support the wealthy more such as VAT exemption on helicopters yet we are punishing the masses with more taxes, let’s give farmers a chance,” Nyakera said.
He urged the government to give farmers a chance and prioritize their needs.
He emphasized that the party’s main goal is to protect farmers’ interests and ensure that the government allocates enough funds to the sector.