Supplementary Budget Raises Concern in House

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The treasury presented Supplementary Budget III to the national assembly which has raised concern among the MPs. The budget was presented seven days to the end of the 2019/2020 financial year.

The speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi seemed surprised when the Majority Leader, Amos Kimunya tabled the budget on Tuesday afternoon.

“I hope the National Treasury knows that we have seven days to the end of the financial year,” Mr. Muturi said as MPs murmured loudly.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has been asked to appear before the Budget and Appropriations Committee to defend the supplementary budget.

Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet will be chairing the committee since Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah was removed as chairman in the recent Jubilee purge.

ShI.8 billion was allocated to the ministry of transport for the Nairobi commuter train and sh1.5 billion to the interior ministry for securing communication and surveillance systems.

Sh1.7 billion has been allocated to the parliamentary service commission for the construction of the multi-story MPs’ office block and renovation of buildings.

The sh3 billion that was set aside for all hospitals handling COVID-19 patients has been removed from the supplementary budget. The treasury allocated the amount to cushion patients from paging their hospital bills.
The treasury has now reallocated sh2 billion for purchasing COVID-19 testing kits, face-masks among others. The treasury allocated funds for the purchase of such items in the Supplementary Budget II.

According to Mr. Ichung’wa, the constant revision of the budget shows a lack of realism in the estimation of the national revenue during the budgeting process.

“The country needs to have credible budgets anchored on realizable revenue targets,” he said.

The new estimates include sh5 billion that President Kenyatta said will be allocated to each county for the fight against COVID-19.

In the supplementary budget, another sh1.5 billion was allocated to the ministry of labor to support the elderly.

Sh1.6 billion allocated to the Ministry of Energy for the controversial 435-kilometer Suswa-Loiyangalani power evacuation line. This was done without considering the recommendations of the budget committee and is likely to raise concerns in the National Assembly.

The project started in 2014 but stopped running after a Spanish contractor went bankrupt.

The contract for the power line was designed in a manner that if there would be a delay in the completion of the project, Lake Turkana Wind and Power (LTWP) would be paid a penalty. This would mean that the country is paying for the power it doesn’t consume because their (LTWP) turbines are running”.

Well, the estimates presented in the house are in line with article 223 of the Kenyan constitution. What raised concerns was why it couldn’t wait till July 1 when the new financial year begins.

Lawmakers and observers also wonder why the changes were not included in the supplementary budget II which was passed 2 months ago.

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