Bernard Gitau @benagitau
A clash is looms in Parliament ahead of today’s reading of the 2019/20 budget after Senators and National Assembly members failed to agree on division of revenue.
The uncertainty comes even as the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) proposed that the National Treasury allocates to counties Sh335 billion in the next fiscal year against the exchequer’s proposal of Sh310 billion.
But plans are afoot to whip legislators into supporting Treasury’s figure despite it lacking the critical revenue sharing component agreed by the National Assembly and the Senate.
Yesterday, senators met with the CRA and vowed to block Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich from presenting the budget terming it unconstitutional.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo was categorical that Rotich could not give a fiscal outline when the question of division of revenue has not been determined, arguing that to do so will be illegal.
“We have a variance between the National government, the county governments and the mediation is still on going. On that basis and without agreement, you cannot allocate money in a budget,” Kilonzo said, sentiments echoed by Senate Budget Committee chair Mahamud Mohamed. “The National government does not have a figure and neither do we that it is agreed between the two Houses. To that extent, therefore, the budget will be illegal,” he said.
However, last evening Treasury CS Henry Rotich said Treasury was being guided by the constitution in the budget making process.