House team adopts Sh64.1b supplementary budget

The Budget and Appropriation Committee has adopted a National Treasury proposal for an extra Sh64.1 billion in supplementary budget to finance election related security operations, food shortage and other critical services just three weeks before the end of this financial year.

The estimates, tabled in the House on Tuesday, comprise an increase of Sh6.5 billion in recurrent expenditures and Sh42.1 billion in development expenditure bringing the total 2016/17 budget to a gross of Sh1.7 trillion

The Ministry of Agriculture will receive Sh3.7 billion of major recurrent for acquisition of strategic stock amounting to Sh3.7 billion to address the crippling food shortage.

Ministry of Interior will receive Sh3.2 billion for election security related operations, which include enhanced security operations in preparation for the August general election and recruitment, training, kitting and feeding the recruits and facilitation of peace forums in all the 47 counties.

The Ministry of health will receive Sh1.5 billion in the recurrent expenditure to cater for salaries for medical practitioners under the various collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).

RAI PAPER

The key increments in development expenditure are Sh19.6 billion (Ministry of Energy), Sh8.3 billion (ministry of Water), Sh7 billion (Ministry of Infrastructure), Sh2.4 billion (vocational and technical training), Sh2 billion (Ministry of Education) and Sh1.2 billion (Ministry of ICT)

A further Sh74.6 million has been made from the recurrent budget of the National Treasury’s general administration programme towards settling outstanding obligations for the Webuye’s Rai Paper, formerly Pan Paper Mills.

Another Sh9 million has been made within the recurrent budget of the State Department for Arts and Culture under the Culture Programme for youth activities.

A reallocation of Sh343 million has been made within the development budget of the ministry of Health to the Burns Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Another Sh40 million has been reallocated from the development budget of the Ministry of Interior to the Office of Deputy Inspector General, Kenya Police Service, for enhanced security operations.

INCREASED BORROWING

The Consolidated Fund Services will increase by Sh15.5 billion which includes increase in domestic interest debt service by Sh10.5 billion and an increase in pensions by Sh5 billion.

Increment in servicing public debt is as result of increased borrowing in the financial year and reopening of existing long term bonds while the increment in pensions is as a result of a rise in the allocations for payment of retired teachers’ pensions.

However, the committee has complained that even as it reviewed the estimates, it did not have performance information as relates to the projects.

“It therefore means we will be approving additional spending based on scanty information submitted during the review of the proposals,” the committee states in its report.

However, the committee is unhappy with the reduction of Sh3.1 billion on the allocation for compensation to employees under the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), saying that the reduction will result in hiring less teachers than had been proposed at the beginning of the financial year.

FOREIGN TRAVEL

An additional Sh555 million has been voted for foreign travel and hospitality supplies against the National Treasury directive that austerity measures be applied to such item.

A review of performance of the exchequer receipts as at the end of April indicates that the government is likely to have a shortfall in revenue and also have a low absorption in development expenditure, especially externally funded projects.

The committee has therefore recommended that, going forward, supplementary budget should only incorporate unforeseen and unavoidable expenditures to the extent only described by the relevant laws to enhance the credibility of the budget process.

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