Budget 2021/22: Highlights As CS Yattani Hunts Down Gamblers

If the proposed 20% excise duty on gamblers is enacted into law, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will have the permission to take Ksh20 out of every Ksh100 bet placed regardless of whether the punter wins or loses.

Budget 2021/22: Highlights As CS Yattani Hunts Down Gamblers

The highly-anticipated Budget for the financial year 2021/22 was read out by National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani in Parliament on Thursday, June 10.

Among the proposals he made was the re-introduction of a 20% excise duty on amount tabled, to curb the resurgence of betting in the country.

"Betting has become widespread resulting in negative social effects. I propose to re-introduce excuse duty on betting at the rate of 20% of the amount wagered," CS Yatani stated.

The tax was introduced in 2019 but was taken off as from July 2020 through amendments to the Finance Act 2020 following lobbying by betting firms.

Customers at a betting shop in Kenya. /FILE

If enacted into law, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will have the permission to take Ksh20 out of every Ksh100 bet placed regardless of whether the punter wins or loses.

It will expand the list of taxes levied on the betting industry and punters.

Betting firms are currently required to withhold 20 percent of winnings and remit the same to the taxman. In such a case, if one wins Ksh20,000, he or she will receive Ksh16,000 as the KRA takes Ksh4,000.

Other highlights of the budget reading include:

1. Government set aside Ksh142.1 billion in the financial year 2021/2022 to support the implementation of the Big Four agenda.

2. Around Ksh3.2 billion was allocated to DPP, DCI Ksh7.6 billion, Ksh5.9 billion Auditor General as Parliament got Ksh37.9 billion to enhance war on corruption.

3. There was a boost for sports as CS Yattani allocated Ksh15 billion to Sports Fund and Ksh90 million for the refurbishment of regional stadia.

4. He also announced a Ksh14.3 billion allocation to bolster COVID containment efforts. An additional Ksh121.1 billion was allocated to the health sector to support various programs.

5. Through the CS, on digital lenders (mobile loans), the government has through the Central Bank of Kenya amendment bill 2021 proposed to provide for licensing of digital credit service providers.

6. CS Yatani also directed ministries, departments & agencies at the county gov't to clear all their pending bills by June 30, 2021.

7. Ksh23.1 billion set aside to cushion the vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of this, Ksh3 billion was set aside for Kazi Mtaani program, Ksh1.9 billion for agriculture and Ksh1.2 billion for recruit of health workers.

8. Ksh 38 billion was allocated for water and sewage infrastructure, Ksh 10.5 billion for irrigation and reclamation.

9. He also announced that Ksh 200 million was allocated for the development of the Konza Technopolis master plan.

10. Ksh41.1 billion allocated for CDF, Ksh2.1 billion for National Government Affirmative Action Fund.

11. To step up the war on crime, National Treasury set aside Ksh1.5 billion for the National Communication and Surveillance System.

12. Ksh281 billion was allocated for TSC, Ksh76.3 billion for university education, Ksh745 million for TVETs and Ksh323 million for National Research Fund.

13. Treasury allocated Ksh7.5 billion for construction of the Mombasa Port Development Project and Ksh7.5 billion for LAPSSET project.

14. Ksh2 billion for the Kenya National Shipping Line and Ksh603 million for construction and maintenance of airports and airstrips.

15. CS Ukur Yatani proposed Ksh1.1 billion to enhance drought resilience and Ksh200 million for the embryo transfer project.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani reads the 2021/22 budget on Thursday, June 10, 2021. /TWITTER