By EVELYN KWAMBOKA
Kisumu Municipal Council will clear all its debts ahead of implementation of the county system of government. Town Clerk Christopher Rosana said Thursday Sh336 million has ben set aside for the debts.
The council owes the National Social Security Fund Sh183 million, National Hospital Insurance Fund Sh30 million, Sacco Sh14 million, court awards Sh30 million, stamp duty arrears Sh21 million and retirees/deceased arrears Sh12 million.
Mayor Sam Okello said the budget had increased from Sh300 million to Sh1.7 billion. The council intends to spend Sh681 million in all personnel related issues, which is 39.25 per cent of the expenditure.
Rosana said this is within the threshold as per the budget guidelines, adding that this is less, given the fact that the council is allowed to spend up to 50 per cent on personnel.
“This is the last budget being read by the council and we do not know how the county will operate. We hope whoever takes over moves upwards,” said Mayor Okelo.
Okelo who is a nominated councillor said he took over the leadership in 2007 when workers salaries were in 14 months arrears.
“We have managed to clear the salary arrears and gave the workers an increment of 40 to 60 per cent in 2010,” he said.
In the ambitious budget read by Finance Committee chairman, Walter Muga, the council will focus on projects aimed at eradicating poverty and sustainable development.
The council intends to spend Sh5.1 million for sanitary towels for girls in several primary schools, Sh500 million for the construction of modern secondary schools, libraries and bursaries.
In the health sector, Muga said Sh10 million has been allocated for insecticide supplies in the fight against malaria. For ISO Certification, baseline surveys and Rapid Results Initiative, the council has allocated Sh6.5 million which will also cater for branding Kisumu as a tourist destination. The council presented a deficit budget of Sh617 million, saying it will address the deficit by realizing its revenue targets.
This will be done through land rates, single business permit, vehicle parking, markers and slaughter houses, cess on sand and quarry, hire of plant and machinery and technical services.
Mean while Nairobi City Council will spend Sh11.5 billion in recurrent expenditure, according to the 2012/2013 budget estimates. Most of the money will be raised through land rates, business permits and advertisements. Also on the list of priorities are Sh75 million for school bursaries and Sh68.2 million for the expansion and rehabilitation of health facilities, crematorium and purchase of new ambulances.
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