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Governor Cautions Removal Of Import Duty On Imported Timber Will Hurt Economy
Nakuru Governor H.E Lee Kinyanjui has expressed disappointment over the decision by Finance CS Mr. Henry Rotich to reduce import duty on raw timber from 10% to zero.
He said the move will have an adverse effect on the local timber industry.
The Governor said raw timber industry in Njoro, Elburgon and Molo offer a lifeline for thousands of families and the logging ban imposed a year ago has already had a negative effect.
“With today’s development, our saw millers stand not to entirely benefit from the Affordable Housing Agenda pie as timber required will mainly come from other countries,” he said
The Governor said as much as it is important to address environmental matters, the national government should have come up with other friendly measures in the reforestation drive.
He appealed to H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta to look at other ways to address Climate Change matters and at the same time empower communities relying on the sector.
The Governor, however, lauded the budgetary allocation of Sh2 billion for the National Value Chain Support Programme in the agriculture sector.
He also praised the Sh3 billion set up for the Coffee Cherry Revolving Fund to implement prioritized reforms in the coffee sub-sector.
In the coming financial year, coffee farmers across the country will be able to access the Cherry Advance at a modest interest rate of 3 percent.
“We are aggressively spearheading the avocado, macadamia and coffee and other cash crop farming for economic empowerment,” he added
The newly formed Biashara Fund, he noted, will ensure that youth, women and PLWDs access funds with ease.
The Governor welcomed the award of the Nairobi – Nakuru – Mau Summit Toll Road Project which is expected to commence soon and significantly reduce traffic on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
He also praised the CS for allocating a total of Sh1.1 billion for the development of textile and leather industrial park, Naivasha Industrial Park and Cotton Development subsidy.
He said the allocation of Sh1.7 billion to support the growth of SMEs in the manufacturing sector will create jobs for the youth.
“The prioritization of payment of Sh10.9 billion of the verified pending bills under Access to Government Procurement Opportunity will also improve liquidity to suppliers and contractors and thereby boost the economy,” he added