Official highlights uncertainties

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THE Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainties in the business community, which will have an impact on tax generation that will affect Government revenue, an official says.
After Budget presentation yesterday, National Research Institute economic policy programme leader Dr Francis Odhuno told The National that it was good, but the only issue that would be faced was revenue.
He said this was because Covid-19 pandemic interfered with a lot of things.
“So we don’t really expect the Internal Revenue Commission and Customs to collect as much as they wish to collect because we are not too sure about whether Covid-19 will go away,” Dr Odhuno said.
“There are a lot of uncertainties.
“Those kind of uncertainties are affecting the business plans, so in terms of tax collections, we cannot be sure how much we are going to collect and whether it will be enough. That means the shortfall will have to go to the financiers to borrow some more to fund that deficit.
“And borrowing comes with a cost.
“The interest payments will be high.”
Dr Odhuno said looking at the books, the interest was already high, but he said “it comes to a point where there is no choice”.
“If you want to fund the development, then you’ll have to borrow some more money to keep the economy going,” he said.
He added that the other important thing was about the priorities, which was said to be on Health and Education.
He said there was limitation in infrastructure and also the trainers in the training institutions.
“I think the capacity of the colleges are full and we might need to talk about how we’ll increase the number of teachers colleges or nursing colleges,” Dr Odhuno said.
“The existing ones might be congested already.
“So in the process, we need to talk about how do we train the trainers first and then bring in students to train.”
Dr Odhuno said training facilities and the trainers should be expanded at the same time to have more and better qualified people.
“We cannot talk about having more nurses and more teachers when we don’t have enough of the trainers first,” he said.

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