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Senate approves Sh314bn to be shared among counties

The Senate on Wednesday approved Sh314 billion to be shared among counties in the next financial year.

This was an increase of Sh23 billion from that approved by the National Assembly last month, setting the stage for a disagreement between the Houses.

The senators adopted, unanimously, the increase of equitable share from Sh291 billion to Sh314 billion.

Conditional allocations will likewise be increased from Sh32.6 billion as approved by the National Assembly to Sh38.1 billion. The upshot is that the counties share was increased to Sh352.8 billion from the Sh323.7 billion approved by the National Assembly.

READ: Governors, MPs in tussle over budget

The Finance committee argued that the increase from Sh280 billion in the current year to Sh291.1 billion was far below the inflation rate, which is at 6.6 per cent.

ALLOCATIONS INCREASED

“The total shareable revenue for 2017/18 was projected at Sh1.5 trillion, a growth rate of 12.3 per cent. The proposed allocation translates to 31.1 per cent of the approved audited revenue of Sh935.6 billion of financial year 2013/14,” said the committee chaired by Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow.

Treasury also proposed that the conditional allocations be increased by Sh5.5 billion from loans and grants. This would include Sh985.8 million from the European Union, Sh2.8 billion for health and Sh1.1 billion for agriculture projects plus Sh763 million from Denmark for health.

Treasury had asked the National Assembly to allocate the counties Sh299 billion as the equitable share. But the proposal was rejected by the National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee as it handled the Budget Policy Statement.

In its submissions, the Commission on Revenue Allocation had argued that the equitable share should have been Sh322.8 billion and the Sh291 billion proposed by the National Assembly indicated very minimal revenue growth, a position also adopted by governors.

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