Fred Aminga @faminga
National Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich will this afternoon read the budget banking on the new Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General James Mburu to raise Sh2.12 trillion to fund his Sh3.08 trillion expenditure.
The bulk of the cash will go towards boosting Jubilee administration’s flagship projects with Sh1.84 trillion set aside for the National Government spending.
To achieve this, Treasury ring-fenced Sh450.9 billion for Big Four agenda projects out of which Sh55.97 billion will go to the agriculture and livestock sector, manufacturing (Sh125.42 billion), health (Sh82.8 billion) while population, urbanisation and housing has been allocated Sh103.15 billion.
To address unemployment, the Public Service Commission will get Sh1 billion for monthly stipend for interns to be recruited in each constituency with an estimated stipend of Sh25,000 per person.
The Universal Health Care (UHC) which is one of the Big Four agenda pillars was not lucky as its budget was reduced by Sh600 million because of lack of a summative report on the four pilot counties.
The ICT sector was allocated Sh5 billion to develop Konza Data Centre and smart facilities projects awaiting more funds from China. In what could be a pointer to collapse of the government’s laptops for primary schools initiative, allocations to both the Ministry of Education and ICT were slashed by Sh1.5 billion and Sh1.2 billion respectively.
Amid cyber security concerns, funds for Interior ministry budget were slashed by Sh1.5 billion after cash intended for the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) and the National Secure Communication and Surveillance System was reduced.
But the education sector was a major winner with plans to hire 3,000 new primary school teachers to address shortage. The Education and Vocational and Technical training institutions will get Sh4 billion to bridge the gap for capitation for increased learners. Sh1.2 billion was set aside to recruit new teachers for primary schools while a further Sh4 billion has been allocated to the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) for TVET students.
Parliament and Judiciary will take home Sh43.78 billion and Sh18.88 billion respectively after request by Judiciary to buy vehicles for judges was granted Sh400 million. However, this is lower than the Sh2 billion requested.
To enhance service delivery though, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was allocated an additional Sh85 million for recruitment of judges and judicial officers. A Sh1 billion cut will see less foreign travel for the National Assembly and the Parliamentary Service Committee.
Agencies fighting corruption got a boost with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) allocated Sh2.9 billion, while the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions got Sh 2.9 billion.
The National Youth Service (NYS) budget was reduced by Sh600 million from its allocations for youth empowerment in 69 informal sectors.
The 47 county governments will share Sh371.6 billion while the Equalisation Fund will get Sh5.8 billion, and the Consolidated Fund Services will gobble up Sh805.8 billion.