The county assembly has passed proposed budget estimates amounting to Sh10.1b for the financial year 2022/2023.
The Budget and Appropriation Committee report indicates that the amount comprises Sh8.06b devolved fund disbursed by the National government as an equitable share and conditional grant of Sh701.6m. The report indicated the county will raise Sh1.4b through own source revenue to fund the budget.
Jonathan Ngetich, the Chairman of Budget Committee who moved the motion, appreciated support from the Speaker David Kiplagat, MCAs and members of staff during his five-year tenure in the committee. The committee has proposed an expenditure of Sh6.4b (63 per cent) on recurrent and Sh3.8b (37 per cent) on development.
“We can proudly report that the development budget allocation meets the at least 30 per cent requirement on development expenditure as set out in section 107(2)(b) of Public Financial Management Act 2012,” Ngetich told the Assembly.
He stated that the proposals projects an economic growth recovery to hit 5.9 per cent in the fiscal year from 2.9 in the Financial Year 2020/2021. The county, he stated, is expected to leverage on enhanced exchequer releases occasioned by the recovering and growing economy to expand execution of its broad strategic priorities and policies for even greater development outcomes as per 2022 fiscal strategic paper.
“The economic recovery is supported by the prevailing stable macroeconomic environment, ongoing implementation of the strategic priorities of the Government under the Big Four Agenda and the third economic stimulus programme,” he stated.
The report indicated that the estimates put into consideration the recovering Kenyan economy after the effects of Covid-19 pandemic that hit the globe in 2020. It stated that the economy rebounded in the second quarter of 2021, with real GDP growing at 10.1 per cent supported by the easing of Covid-19 containment measures.
The committee stated that over the past five years, it had approved estimates totaling to Sh44.7b comprising Sh16.5b spent on development and Sh28.1b on recurrent expenditure.
“The biggest challenge in budget execution has been underutilization of development funds. In the Financial Year 2018/2019, total available funds for development amounted Sh4.7b but only Sh1.9b was utilized, translating to only 40 per cent absorption rate,” Ngetich stated.
The Assembly heard that inadequate funding and delays in disbursements are among reasons given by the County for the low absorption of funds.