Focus on agriculture in Sh8.9b county budget

The County assembly has approved a Sh8.9 billion budget for the 2019/20 financial year.

The budget was passed, with members calling for increased public participation, after only a few people turned up for the budget-making process.

Budget Committee chairman Francis Kibe presented the estimates to the assembly.

Members of the County Assembly called on the Executive to comply with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to pay pending bills.

In the budget, agricultural programmes were allocated Sh584 million.

Construction of the Speaker’s official residence was allocated Sh10 million, while Sh30 million was given for refurbishment of the assembly’s chambers – a project that stalled three years ago.

The Transport and Infrastructure department got Sh761 million, the school milk programme was allocated Sh30 million, ECDE got Sh70 million while Sh15 million was budgeted for learning materials.

Mr Kibe said the Executive should initiate measures to increase local revenue collection from Sh800 million to Sh960 million to raise money for community projects.

Food security

He said they would focus on the agriculture department to ensure food security and create employment for the youth.

Kibe said the treasury had been directed to strengthen measures to curb revenue losses by sealing loopholes. “Murang’a has been experiencing challenges in local revenue collection, but with the measures we have put in place, the treasury will raise more than Sh1 billion,” he said.

Kimorori MCA Amos Murigi, who supported the budget, said he would ensure allocations would not be diverted to undeserving programmes.

During the deliberations, Stephen Habire and Jecinta Ng’ang’a said youth projects, which would include upgrading of playing fields, would be allocated Sh38 million.

They said small-scale traders would also benefit from projects designed to ensure their places of work were cleaned.

Educate residents

The budget committee recommended strategies that would help educate residents on the need to attend public participation meetings.

The recurrent budget was listed as Sh5,485,229,653, with the Health department taking the lion’s share of Sh2.1 billion while Public Service and Administration got Sh1 billion.

Another Sh707 million was set aside for payment of salaries for permanent and contract staff from other departments.

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Murang'a budgetAgricultureFrancis KibeBudget Committee