Industry, Trade, and Investments CS Moses Kuria now says that the issue of dollar shortage in the country is beyond the government’s control.
According to Kuria, it is a global issue but the African continent is where it has been hit the most.
“Because of the way the FED is playing with the interest rates, the dollar is becoming very expensive. So in so many ways, this is not just a Kenyan problem. It is a global problem but Africa has been hit the most… That one I can admit is out of our control,” he said.
The CS further blamed the dollar rising on the culture of importing things that are available and can be manufactured locally.
“You cannot be crying that the dollar is expensive when you are importing everything.”
Kuria spoke when he appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives.
The CS also presented the ministerial position on the budget policy statement for 2023/2024 to the Parliamentary Trade Committee for review.
Kuria insisted that a deliberate policy shift to give incentives to local manufacturers and protect them from foreign competitors would facilitate business and entrepreneurship, and increase manufacturing and trade contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
Banking experts are, however, linking the ongoing dollar crisis and subsequent weakening of the shilling to the Central Bank of Kenya’s tough interbank forex regulations.
Several banking sector insiders and money market analysts say the ban has resulted in a parallel foreign exchange market that has seen traders buy a dollar at a high of Sh143, more than 10 units above CBK’s rate.