Lawmakers pass Sh3.6tr budget estimates, Kenya’s biggest since independence

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 15 Jun, 2023 10:38 | 4 mins read
Lawmakers pass Sh3.6tr budget estimates, Kenya’s biggest since independence
MPs in the National Assembly. PHOTO/Courtesy

Parliamentarians passed the Sh3.679 trillion budget estimates for the Financial Year 2023/24 ahead of today’s reading of President William Ruto’s first budget since he won the presidency last year.

The Executive was allocated Sh2.1 trillion, Parliament Sh40 billion while the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) got Sh22.9 billion.

This year’s budget, which is the biggest in Kenya’s history will hit Sh4.4 trillion, if redemptions and appropriations-in-aid are factored, indicating the increasing pain of debt repayments.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u will deliver the budget on the floor of the House this afternoon outlining the government spending in the coming financial year.

The MPs adopted various amendments as proposed by the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro (pictured).

The BAC collectively reallocated Sh743.2 billion to various State departments in the estimates for the 2023/ 2024 financial year, which starts on July 1.
Those who got the lion’s share in the reallocation included Teachers Service Commission, Parliament, State House and the State Departments of Housing, Education, Irrigation, Water and Medical Services.

The most notable increment includes that of Parliament which has gone up by Sh2.2 billion, from Sh39 billion in the initial estimates to Sh41.2 billion in the revised budget.

“Let me clarify because I have heard people giving some funny figures of the estimates. The estimates we passed in the committee of supply are Sh3.679 trillion,” Nyoro said.

According to the estimates in the Executive, Office of the President has been allocated Sh4.3 billion, Office of the Deputy President Sh3.73 billion and the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary Sh1.2 billion.

State Department for Parliamentary Affairs will get Sh669.5 million, State Department for Performance and Delivery Management Sh478.6 million, Cabinet Affairs Sh903 million, State Department for Correctional Services, Sh35.8 billion, State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services Sh11.9 billion, National Police Service Sh106.5 million and State Department for Internal Security and National Administration Sh28.2 billion.

State Department for Devolution Sh1.97 billion, State Department ASALs and Regional Development Sh15.7 billion, Ministry of Defence Sh144.9 billion, the state department for Diaspora Affairs Sh1.3 million, The National Treasury Sh130.5 billion after its allocation was increased by Sh53.8 billion while the State Department for Economic Planning was allocated Sh60.5 billion. In the education sector, the State Department for Technical Vocational Education and Training has been allocated Sh28.3 billion, the state Department for Higher Education and Research got Sh128.6 billion while the State Department for Basic Education got Sh 147.8 billion while the Teachers Service Commission was allocated Sh 323.8 billion.

The move comes after the BAC increased allocations to the TSC by Sh1.2 billion, one of the highest in the Budget due to the planned employment of 35,000 teachers in the next financial year.

Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVETS) also gained an extra Sh7.6 billion on top of the initially proposed Sh20.7 billion to boost enrolment and start small industries.

The Ruto administration is giving emphasis to TVETs, and it has signalled its intention to construct training centres in all 290 constituencies in addition to digital hubs in every TVET.

The Department of Basic Education allocation went up by Sh20 billion, Primary Education was allocated an extra Sh11 billion — to cater for among others, the new Grade Seven classes, secondary education was allocated Sh8.9 billion more while the Department for Higher Education and Research was allocated an additional Sh3.6 billion while university education saw its allocation enhanced by Sh3.5 billion.

In the health sector, the State Department for Medical Services has been allocated Sh116.6 billion up from Sh 63 billion that it had been allocated previously due to the planned employment of 44,400 community health workers in the next financial year while the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards has been allocated Sh24.6 billion.

The State Department for Housing and Urban Development was allocated Sh29.7 billion down from Sh1.29 billion while the State Department for Public Works was allocated Sh4.7 billion.

Housing is key to the Kenya Kwanza administration and the increased allocation is part of the programme which has already been launched by President William Ruto, and has sparked controversy over a proposal to get formal sector workers deducted three per cent of their salary to finance the Housing Fund.

The State Department for Irrigation was allocated 24.7 billion after its allocation was increased by 23 billion, the State Department for Water and Sanitation Sh61.5 billion while the State Department for Lands and Physical Planning was allocated Sh8.9 billion.

Over the next five years, the government plans to construct more than 100 dams to support irrigation farming and reduce dependence on rain-fed agriculture. The increased allocation signals its intention to start this journey in the next financial year.

The State Department for roads has had its allocation ramped up by Sh166.8 billion from Sh82.8 billion. In total, the department will now be allocated Sh249.7 billion in the next financial year.

The State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services has been allocated an additional Sh2.7 billion bringing its total allocation of Sh 11.98 billion which was necessitated by the planned introduction of the Universal Personal Identifier (UPI) number that citizens will be expected to use for life.

The State Department for Sports was allocated Sh17.7 billion, and the State Department for Culture and Heritage was Sh2.9 billion.

To finance the planned expansion of Internet connectivity by laying 100 kilometres of fibre cable across the country, the allocation to the Department for Information Communication Technology has been increased by Sh16.3 billion from a modest Sh3.8 billion.

He reiterated that all Azimio MPs have been firmly directed to shoot down the Finance Bill and should it sail through then Kenyans should be ready to ‘join opposition for the next course of action’.

“We believe Kenyans have been hurting for a prolonged period of time. This Budget proposal prolongs and worsens the suffering of the people. Our Members of Parliament are mobilized, whipped and aligned. They will reject this anti-people Bill,” he said.

At the same time, Oparanya appealed to the Kenya Kwanza lawmakers to search their inner hearts and vote against the bill, adding that they should do it for Kenyans and not for the Executive.

“We now appeal to you the Kenya Kwanza MPs. We know that in your heart of hearts, you know this budget is wrong. We urge you to join your Azimio counterparts and stand with the people.”

The coalition had requested preliminary actions to lower the cost of living, preservation of electoral agency servers and cessation of Kenya Kwanza invasion of Azimio affiliate parties including former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party.

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