Uhuru rejects Bill seeking to reduce HELB interest


President Uhuru Kenyatta has rejected a Bill that sought to cap Higher Education Loans Board’s interest.

The HELB (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which was introduced by nominated MP Gideon Keter was to increase the grace period for repayment of the loan to five years.

“The principal object of this bill is to amend the Higher Education Loans Board Act to waive the imposition of interest on the principal amount of a loan advanced to the youth and persons with a disability until such a time as they have secured their first employment,” the bill reads.

HELB Bill is among three other Bills that he sent back to Parliament with the memorandum.

The Bill sought to reduce interest on the loans from the current four to three per cent and shield jobless graduates from fines imposed on defaulters.

Currently, HELB loan beneficiaries are required to start repaying the loans within the first year of completing their studies or graduating.

This requirement has left thousands of jobless beneficiaries unable to pay.

HELB imposes a Sh5, 000 monthly penalty for defaulters.

In addition, the defaulters are at risk of being listed with the Credit Reference Bureau.

While signing into law some Bills that had been approved by Parliament, President Uhuru Kenyatta also approved the supplementary budget.

“Some Sh1.37 billion has been earmarked for ongoing improvement of primary school infrastructure,” a state house statement reads.

In total, Kenyatta approved Sh3.47 for several projects in the ministry of education.

“The Teachers Service Commission has been allocated Sh2.1 billion for salaries and related recurrent expenses,” the statement reads.

The president signed into law ten bills but rejected three others.

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