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Covid-19 budget to cushion poor

By Frankline Sunday | June 11th 2020

Road contractors, State House and people considered to be vulnerable in the country have earned big in this year's budget.

The budget has been designed to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The department of State House Affairs has received Sh502m with another Sh358m allocated to government advisory services.

According to budget papers, the State Department of Infrastructure has been allocated Sh124.6b for road development projects and another Sh64b for recurrent expenditure.

At the same time, the State Department of Transport has received Sh38b in development expenditure including Sh23b for rail and Sh14b for marine transport.

The State Department for Social Protection, Pensions and Senior Citizens has also received an additional Sh8.5b as the Government looks to cushion the most vulnerable from the economic brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The number of households with older persons - over 70 years - that receive the Government’s monthly stipend will be increased from 833,000 to 1million.

At least 390,500 households with vulnerable children will receive cash transfers.

"The decrease in current expenditure is on account of reduction in compensation to employees to reflect actual trends, while the increase in capital expenditure is mainly on account of budget rationalisation and payment of outstanding bills,” said Treasury in budget documents.

TSC allocation

On the other hand, Cabinet has seen its budget slashed by Sh530 million with another Sh63 million cut from the Deputy President’s budget.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has seen its budget go up by an additional Sh2.8 billion. Treasury seeks to continue paying teachers’ salaries during the pandemic and to recruit an additional 5,000 teachers in the current financial year.

Treasury has also increased the allocation to the country’s prisons by Sh6.9 billion. The money is expected to purchase telecommunication equipment at 31 penal institutions across the country. Also, 3,200 wardens are set to be recruited

Kenya’s agricultural sector will also benefit from an additional Sh12.7 billion in budget resources that will go towards fighting the locust infestation and boost the strategic grain reserve.

 “The overall change reflects an increase of Sh12.7 billion consisting of additional Sh10.47 billion in the current expenditure and additional Sh2.27 billion in the capital expenditure,” explains Treasury.

Treasury boss Ukur Yatani is, however, under pressure to cut expenditure from non-priority projects in the budget.

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