MPs cut down on development in new budget estimates

Thursday, June 6th, 2024 17:22 | By
Chair Budget and appropriations Committee Ndindi Nyoro. PHOTO/@NdindiNyoro/X
Chair Budget and appropriations Committee Ndindi Nyoro. PHOTO/@NdindiNyoro/X

Members of the National Assembly adopted the second supplementary estimates for the 2023/2024 Financial Year with amendments, cutting down on development while raising their own budget.

The approved revisions include a net reduction of Ksh24.2 billion achieved by increasing recurrent spending by Ksh51.1 billion and slashing development expenditure by Ksh75.3 billion.

Parliament's budget had been set at Ksh41.62 billion but the Parliamentary Service Commission proposed an increase to Ksh43.62 billion citing the need for more resources to cater for annual wage drift and also employer contributions to the Housing Levy.

During the session, several committee members decried why budgetary cuts primarily targeted the development expenditure.

"The Supplementary Estimates II is seeking to align the government's spending. We are reducing expenditure by Ksh24.2 billion," budget and appropriations committee chair Ndindi Nyoro said while moving the motion.

Revised budget winners

The revised budget allocated additional resources to specific areas, with education, security, and agriculture receiving a boost.

Nyoro noted a Ksh4 billion increase for the State Department of Higher Education in appropriations in aid and additional funding for the National Police Service and other security agencies.

The agriculture sector also had an increased allocation of Ksh4 billion for fertilizer subsidies with Nyoro saying that Kenya is more agrarian than industrial.

"The program is set to continue. We are empowering our farmers to produce more and paying arrears to sugarcane farmers," he added.

Members of the parliamentary budget and appropriations committee follow proceedings at Parliament building. PHOTO/@NdindiNyoro/X

The Committee, chaired by the Kiharu MP, however, flagged several issues in its review of the estimates.

Also, committee members noted low donor fund absorption saying only 45 per cent of Ksh138 billion of the allocated funds for donor-funded projects had been absorbed.

Government wastage

Deputy Speaker, Gladys Boss Shollei (Uasin Gichu County) also raised concerns about state wastage of resources.

"Any state department that wastes money should not be given more money," Shollei stated.

Shollei urged the watchdog committee including the Public Accounts Committee to take up its role in auditing the Executive implementation and use of money.

On his part, nominated MP John Mbadi called for increased funding to the Office of the Auditor General.

"We need to fund the Office of the Auditor General to be able to audit these programmes within stipulated timelines," Mbadi said.

Ksh6.4 billion has been allocated for emergency response to El Niño, with funds designated for crop development, road transport, and cooperative development.

"It is good we are seeing more resources going towards mitigation of issues of flooding, right from the monies that are being paid to people who are being moved from riparian reserves within the city and other areas where people have been asked to move away from rivers and areas where they are prone to flooding," Ichung'wa said while seconding the motion.

The National Assembly noted increase in funds for the State Department for Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) development for emergency interventions concerning droughts and EI Niño floods.

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