Kibaki Wednesday assured Kenyans that the Government will continue to prudently allocate and utilize collected revenues to fund projects in prioritized development sectors of the economy.
The President made the remarks Wednesday during the 2009 Kenya Revenue Authority's Taxpayers Award Ceremony at Bomas of Kenya.
During the occasion President Kibaki affirmed that the Government had prioritized key sectors of the economy among them infrastructure, agriculture, education and health which have a considerable impact on poverty reduction.
The President acknowledged, "As a Government, our responsibility is to achieve our national development goals of creating jobs for our people, eliminating poverty and conquering hunger. Indeed we recognize it is only through better application of tax money for the benefit of all Kenyans that we can enhance the country's partnership with taxpayers.
The Head of State noted that the unrelenting development of infrastructural facilities in the country was intended to support and ensure the private sector played a bigger role in accelerated economic development of the country.
The President said, "Thus, this year alone, we have allocated 140 billion shillings or about 16% of the total budget to development of infrastructure, mainly in roads construction and power generation."
He reiterated that the Government was keen on partnering with the private-sector with regard to the attainment of the country's development goals which benefit enormously from its innovativeness to make sufficient profits and generate taxes.
President Kibaki stated, "Indeed, we expect the private sector to play a more prominent role in achieving the objectives of higher growth and faster development as outlined in VISION TWENTY THIRTY. To ensure the private sector grows and continues to play even a bigger role, the government is committed to upscale development of infrastructural facilities - roads, railways, sea and air ports, power generation and distribution, and water supply.
In this regard the President noted that such measures would translate into reduced cost of doing business as well as improved profits among businessmen who would thus be able to honour their tax obligations.
He noted that the occasion to honour tax payers was a clear indication of the importance the Government attaches to revenue administration and the subsequent ability to finance the country's development agenda.
The President said, "Indeed, it is only through such a partnership that we can improve tax compliance to enhance Government revenue collection for financing our development agenda."
The Head of State also assured Kenyans that the Government was committed to simplifying the tax regime in order to encourage higher compliance with tax payers.
He further directed the minister for finance to fast-track the process of clearing all outstanding V.A.T arrears and to also institute long-term measures of averting such backlog in future.
President Kibaki assured tax payers that the Government was devoted to also maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment necessary for long term investment and to ensure that Kenyans accessed quality financial products.
The President said, "In addition, efforts are under way to fast-track reforms in the capital markets with a view to improving corporate governance and strengthen regulatory capacity of our financial regulator. The Government expects these measures, together with other on-going reforms in the public sector, to significantly reduce the cost of doing business in Kenya and promote Kenya 's competitiveness in the regional and global markets.
Urging Kenyans to uphold the culture of hard work, selflessness and dedication to the service of their motherland, President Kibaki expressed optimism that the country was on the path of economic recovery.
"Looking forward, it is pleasing to note that consistent with what is happening globally, our country is now on a path to economic recovery. I am hopeful that the current rains will continue, as they will significantly boost our food production," remarked the President.
During the occasion the President called on Kenyans to remain steadfast and committed to upholding unity of purpose in order to accomplish the mission of building a cohesive and prosperous nation for all.
The Head of State reiterated, "Above all, let us cherish the fruits of our labour and embrace the spirit of hard work, as this is the only sure way to liberate ourselves from the bondage of poverty and dependency."
President Kibaki noted that in line with the vision of the country's independent heroes political independence must be translated into economic independence in order to for citizens to enjoy the benefits of freedom.
He observed, "Just like our hard won independence, the challenges of development remind us that nothing comes easy. It takes hard work, commitment and dedication. Above all, it takes a sense of responsibility for each one of us to make an honest contribution to the achievement of our development objectives."
The Head of State commended all tax payers for their compliance and sense of duty to the nation as well as the management and staff of the Kenya Revenue Authority for organizing the pleasant event to recognize and reward the tax payers.
President Kibaki expressed pleasure with the level of tax payment in the country and called on KRA to apply all means at its disposal to further improve the collections.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta assured that the government has worked out the necessary modalities to clear all the pending refunds to the affected tax payers.
The Minister noted that taxation was a sustainable source of revenue to finance priority government programmes and appealed to Kenyans to expose tax evaders for the necessary legal action.
Legislators Johnstone Muthama (Kangundo) and Peter Kenneth (Gatanga) were applauded for being the only MPs in the tenth parliament to support the budget proposals by allowing taxation of their allowances despite resistance by majority of their colleagues.
The two MPs were among distinguished tax payers who received awards from President Kibaki for exemplary compliance to tax payment. Others were Safaricom, Kenya Breweries Limited and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).