Kenyatta Signs Finance Bill 2019 Officially Allowing Banks to Charge Higher Interest Rates

7 November 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta this morning at State House, Nairobi signed into law the Finance Bill 2019.

The Finance Act 2019, among other provision, repeals section 33b of the Banking Act that provides for the capping of bank interest rates.

The new law also introduces tax on income raised from the digital marketplace as a measure of ensuring equity in taxation.

The repeal of section 33b of the Banking Act is expected to enhance access to credit by the private sector especially the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME's) as well as cut out exploitative shylocks and other unregulated lenders.

As part of government efforts to support the affordable housing pillar of the Big 4 Agenda, the Finance Act 2019 exempts the National Housing Development Fund from income tax.

Present during the signing ceremony were Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani and Attorney General Paul Kihara.

Others were Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale, National Treasury CAS Nelson Gaichuhie, Treasury PS Dr Julius Muia, Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge and Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai among other senior government officials.

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