For the second month in a row, Kenya diaspora remittances have slumped in what is attributed to the expiry of the tax amnesty offered by the government for Kenyans to repatriate wealth stashed abroad.
Kenyans living and working overseas sent home $214 million (Sh22.2 billion) in the month of August 2019, latest data published by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) showed.
This represents a drop by 4.5 percent from $224 million (Sh23.3 billion) recorded the previous month (July), CBK said in its weekly market bulletin.
However, cumulative diaspora inflows for the first eight months of this year grew to $1.888 billion (Sh196 billion) from $1.809 billion (Sh187.8 billion) in 2018.
July’s remittances declined by $71 million (Sh7.4 billion) from $295 million (Sh30.6 billion) recorded in June 2019 or a 24 percent fall.
June’s diaspora remittances were the highest in years, expanding 21 percent from $243 million (Sh24.7 billion) sent in May this year.
The reduced diaspora remittances in July and August are largely attributed to the end of the tax pardon for the return of taxable assets stashed abroad.
The tax Amnesty announced by suspended Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in 2016 expired on June 30th this year.
Since 2015, diaspora inflows have been the country's top foreign exchange income earner, ahead of earnings from tea and horticulture exports as well as tourism.