BY PSCU/JOHN WERU,NAIROBI,21ST JUNE,2017-Counties are set to receive a major boost financially after nine Bills were signed into law including the Division of Revenue Bill 2017 by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday at State House Nairobi.
Other Bills assented to by the President are the Finance Bill (2017), Supplementary Appropriation Bill (2017), Insurance Amendment Bill (2017), Health Bill (2015), Hydrologist Bill (2016), the Clinical Officers Bill (2016), Basic Education Amendment Bill (2016) and National Coroners Service Bill (2016).
The Division of Revenue Act seeks to provide for the equitable provision of revenue raised nationally between the national and county governments in 2017/2018 financial year.
The National Government share is Sh1,238,343,840,000 and the County allocation total revenue is Sh345,681,081,499 which is 36.95% of the revenue nationally raised.
The National Government share includes Sh3.4 billion which is a special grant to the National Health Insurance Fund for free maternal healthcare.
The conditional allocation to County Governments is for leasing medical equipment, level five hospitals, construction of county headquarters and rehabilitation of youth polytechnics.
The Finance Act seeks to amend the law relating to various taxes and duties. It also seeks to amend the following laws among others.
The Betting, Lotteries and Gambling Act (Cap. 131) to increase the tax rates from the currents rates to 35%.
The Kenya Revenue Authority Act (Cap.469) to include the newly introduced laws: the Tax Procedures Act, 2015, the Value Added Tax Act, 2013, the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016 and Excise Duty Act, 2015 as part of the revenue laws administered by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
The Stamp Duty Act (Cap.480) to provide for tax neutrality for Islamic financial products to favourably compete with similar conventional products in Kenyan markets.
The Sacco Societies Act (Cap.490B) to define “deposits” and “deposit taking sacco business” to take on board the principles of Islamic law in the Act as a form of recognition of Islamic saccos among other beneficial laws.