The Ministry of Education has lost a massive Sh14 billion in new supplementary budget tabled in Parliament yesterday.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich also took away Sh11 billion from the department of agriculture as reality sunk that the Government might miss revenue collection targets. The taxman has already missed its half-year tax collection targets by a massive Sh47.6 billion. The new proposals, if passed by Parliament, will see the department of planning lose Sh7.5 billion in development budget and Sh350 million in recurrent spending.
Mr Rotich did not spare his ministry, which was the worst hit after he slashed Sh9.4 billion in recurrent spending and another Sh6.7 billion from its development, bringing the total to Sh16.2 billion. Other departments that saw their allocations reduced include that of infrastructure, which lost Sh3.9 billion in development budget; Science and Technology (Sh2.2 billion); and Land, Housing and Urban Development, which lost Sh1.7 billion.
Commerce and Tourism, which lost Sh3.4 billion and Judiciary (Sh2 billion) were the other major losers. However, Rotich rewarded the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology with Sh6.3 billion, mostly going to the implementation of the computer literacy programme in primary schools.
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Although the Ministry of Education lost, teachers will be a happy lot after Rotich gave the Teachers Service Commission Sh6.8 billion for salary increment.
Treasury allocated Sh6.1 billion to the Ministry of Interior. This comes a few weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the Government will recruit an additional 10,000 police officers to beef up security.
Foreign Affairs ministry gained Sh2.5 billion as the Government seeks to revamp its foreign affairs policy while the Ministry of Water and Irrigation gained Sh1.8 billion for development.
The Presidency gained Sh435 million to cater for “increased level of activities in the institutions within the Presidency,” read the estimates report in part. Last year, the President came under attack from Kenyans on social media for his numerous foreign trips.
The supplementary budget slashed close to Sh60 billion from the Government’s budget for the financial year ending in June. The Government’s revenue drop has made it urgent for the Treasury to cut non-priority spending in the quest to balance its books and ease on borrowing. If Parliament passes the supplementary budget, the Treasury hopes to save on its expenditure.
Kenya’s public wage bill is estimated at Sh568 billion or 11 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product compared to the global best practice of seven per cent. The amount is more than 50 per cent of total revenues it collects.