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City MCAs approve Sh8.7bn compulsory expenditure.

The Nairobi county assembly on Thursday approved the withdrawal of Sh8.7 billion for running operations during the transition period from the current financial year to the next, which starts on Monday.

The funds, which are contained in the County Revenue Fund, will go towards catering for only recurrent expenditure, which is necessary to carry out services until all funds for counties are released for the Financial Year 2019-20.

County assembly Finance, Budget and Appropriations committee vice chairman Patrick Karani said the money, which is under the supplementary appropriation, will be used for necessary expenditure such as salaries, statutory deductions, utilities and payment for goods and services.

Karani said the withdrawal of Sh8.7 billion came as a result of a delay from the National Assembly to agree and pass the Division of Revenue Bill and the County Allocation of Revenue Bill.

The two bills are an important factor in determining the county's conditional allocations, equitable share of revenue and the recurrent ceilings for the county assembly.

"The assembly has passed money for compulsory expenditure component which is payment of salaries and critical services like vaccines and medicine for hospitals and others which the county cannot operate without," Karani said.

Explaining further, the executive, who is also the Utawala ward rep, said the withdrawal is only allowed when the county's Appropriations Bill has not been assented to or might be delayed towards the beginning of a financial year. The withdrawal should not exceed 25 per cent of the total county budget.

He said the withdrawal was necessary to make sure services in the county do not come to a standstill as from Monday when the new financial year starts.

"This is a temporary and important middle ground that grants the county departments authority to spend amounts not exceeding 25 per cent of the budget estimates," Karani explained.

However, he made it clear no funds had been allocated for development budget because the executive had failed to produce procurement and cash flow projection plans as part of the necessary documents required in budget execution.

This comes two days after the MCAs tabled Sh35.3 budget estimates for 2019-20; Sh24.29 billion for recurrent expenditure and Sh10.99 billion for development.

The assembly targets to raise at least Sh17 billion in the next financial year.

'In the next two weeks, we shall be looking at the 2019 Finance Bill, which was tabled by the budget committee on Tuesday. It is the only instrument the county will use to raise its revenue,' the CEC said.

In the Sh35. 2 billion budget estimates, the Health sector has been allocated Sh7.4 billion, the highest allocation at 21 per cent.

Transport has been allocated Sh8 billion as compared to Sh3.64 billion for last year. Other sectors include Education (Sh2.1 billion), Safety and Security (Sh2.2 billion), Urban Planning (Sh688 million) and Sh126 million for Agriculture.

Water and Environment has been allocated Sh2.7 billion, Subcounty administration in the Office of the Governor (Sh2.3 billion) and the county assembly (Sh3.2 billion.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jun 29, 2019
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