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Shelve 'unfair' county revenue sharing formula, MP Lessonet tells CRA.

Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet wants the Commission on Revenue Allocation to shelve its "unfair" formula for counties.

Lessonet says the current criteria has left many counties disadvantaged yet all devolved units have administrative structures that must be funded irrespective of size.

He noted on Tuesday that entities such as the county assembly and executive take up a chunk of funds regardless of the geographical matrix.

In a letter to the CRA on April 30, the MP proposed that counties be apportioned 60 per cent of the total revenue equally, a step he noted will end their constant cries over lack of cash amid strained budgets.

He added that: "20 per cent of the allocation from the National Treasury be shared proportionately to the number of wards in each county."

The legislator further wants the formula to consider that 15 per cent of the allocation is shared according to the poverty index of each county.

Lessonet, in his proposal, further wants five per cent of the allocation shared according to the financial discipline of each county.

In an interview, the MP said the proposed formula will deal with discrepancies occasioned by the current revenue sharing criteria.

At the moment, the CRA gives counties money on the 25 per cent pro rata basis in terms of the population of each county. Twenty five per cent is shared equally, eight per cent by consideration of landmarks and 20 per cent based on the region's poverty index.

The revenue allocation agency has a 'fiscal responsible parameter' where counties that collect more year-on-year get an additional two per cent in revenue.

The commission, as required by law, has invited proposals with a view to readjusting the allocations. The call was mooted during the devolution conference in Kakamega.

Based on this, Lessonet says the new formula will see counties such as Turkana, Nairobi, Kakamega, Kiambu, Kilifi - which receive at least Sh8 billion - be at par with others.

"If the formula is used, we will see counties such as Lamu, Isiolo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, and many others get their allocations boosted by at least Sh1 billion each," he told the Star on phone.

"The county assemblies and Executives of each devolved unit spends an almost equal amount of money to run the administrative structures, hence are disadvantaged when allocations are based on the current share formula."

The legislator says, however, that despite lack of cash and late disbursement, Governors ought to be prudent with the way they spend county cash.

"Governors must have their priority spending areas set right. If they spread themselves thin by funding many projects at the same time, the money will not be enough."

There is a concern that issues to do with disbursement of county cash are not likely to end even if Kenyans, after the CRA's current review, agree on a perfect sharing formula.

The Senate, the agency and Treasury have often differed on the total amount of money to be allocated to counties from the national government coffers.

In March, the Senate Finance Committee chaired by Senator Mohamed Mohamud (Mandera) said counties should be given a sum of Sh387.6 billion, conditional grants included.

The commission proposed Sh337.2 billion while Treasury, in the 2018-19 Budget Policy Statement, said Sh314 billion should be disbursed to counties.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:May 8, 2018
Words:627
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