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Ruto, Gachagua get Sh4b more in mini-budget as roads lose

 

A section of the Isiolo - Merille Road that has been rendered impassable by floods and heavy siltation. [Michael Saitoti, Standard]

The offices of the President and Deputy President are the biggest winners in this year’s supplementary budget, which has enhanced their kitty to a collective total of over 14 billion, in estimates tabled in Parliament earlier this week.

The estimates indicate that the Presidency got an additional allocation of Sh4.2 billion bringing its total allocation to Sh14.1 billion.

State House’s budget was increased from Sh6.4 billion to Sh9.9 billion while that of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was hiked from Sh3.5 billion to Sh4.2 billion.

A report tabled by the Budget and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, indicated that the recurrent expenditure budget was increased by Sh90.7 billion while the total capital expenditure budget was reduced by Sh24.5 billion.

This will now see the 2023/2024 budget shoot up to Sh2.43 trillion, from Sh2.37 trillion.

“The committee observed that the increase in recurrent expenditure will be financed by additional net Exchequer issues of Sh49.53 billion and an expected additional Sh34.23 billion in recurrent Appropriations in Aid,” reads the report.

Despite the projected El Niño rains which have devastated infrastructure in flood prone areas, the State department for Roads and the Department of Housing had their development cut by a cumulative Sh38.82 billion.

The Department for Roads, headed by Kipchumba Murkomen, had its budget cut by Sh18.6 billion after it was reviewed from Sh250.8 billion.

The Transport Department had a further Sh2.2 billion cut off after its budget was reduced to Sh58.2 billion.

The reduction in the Roads and Transport docket comes against the backdrop of heavy rains that have destroyed several roads. Key infrastructure airports have also been affected.

Housing and Urban Development docket had Sh13.2 billion cut from its budget, to Sh80.2 billion.

The reduction in the development budgets elicited worry from MPs concerned this would not only add to the number of pending bills but also affect completion of ongoing projects.

Other dockets that had their budgets cut are National Treasury, whose budget was decreased to Sh111.4 billion down from Sh128.7 billion, the State Department for Medical Services from Sh116.5 billion to Sh110.6 billion, and the Cabinet Affairs docket which had Sh285.9 million slashed after its budget was reduced to Sh617 million.

Arid, Semi-Arid Land and Regional Development Department had its budget reviewed upwards, from Sh15.9 to Sh24 billion, while the Ministry of Defence’s budget was raised from Sh144.9 billion to Sh153.4 billion.

The Immigration Department budget was increased from Sh11.98 to Sh12.7 billion. The case was the same Citizen Services Department, whose budget was increased to Sh5.9 billion from Sh5.4 billion.

Education ministry got the lion's share of the allocations which entailed  a Sh25.9 billion increase for the Higher Education and Research Department, bringing its total allocation to Sh154.5 billion, up from a prior Sh128.6 billion.

The department of Basic education got an additional Sh11.74 billion, pushing up its budget from Sh147.8 billion to Sh159.6 billion.

The Teachers Service Commission was allocated an additional Sh19.8 billion, increasing its budget to Sh343.6 billion. The budget for Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions was also increased by Sh4.6 billion, to Sh32 billion.

Another winner was the Ministry of Interior that had its budget increased by Sh8.5b to Sh35.3b.

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