2022-23 Budget realignment underway
The National Treasury is already preparing supplementary estimates for the financial year ending June 30, 2023, targeted at realigning the Budget with President William Ruto’s Sh300 billion austerity plans.
The new development also seeks to reallocate funds to priority areas of the Kenya Kwanza government.
Appearing before the National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee, Mr Francis Anyona, the director of budget at the National Treasury, said the preparation of the first supplementary estimates began last week. The Treasury on November 7 issued a circular guiding ministries on how to go about the process.
“We intend to submit the supplementary estimates to the National Assembly by January 31, 2023, for consideration and approval,” said Mr Anyona.
He explained that the supplementary estimates have been necessitated by the need to respond to the reorganisation of the government as well as key priorities of the new administration.
He said the move seeks to rationalise the Budget to achieve a sustainable fiscal deficit as announced by the President.
Further, it seeks to regularise approved reallocations and additional expenditures for emerging priorities of the government, including the Sh50 billion Hustler Fund, a Sh3.6 billion fertiliser subsidy and budgetary allocations to the new offices created in the reorganised government.
In September, President Ruto announced a subsidised fertiliser programme and issued a directive on a Sh300 billion budget saving.
“The new priorities and government reorganisation will only be made operational through the supplementary budget being processed,” he said.
Mr Anyona said that by the end of the week, they will have received submissions from ministries, departments and agencies before engaging them through the estimates working group between November 21 and 25, 2022.
A final estimate line will then be prepared by the National Treasury before the same is taken to the Cabinet for approval.
The director said the Hustler Fund is one of the key priorities of the current administration and it is a race against time to have it operationalised by December 1. He said regulations have been done and public participation is ongoing.
Mr Anyona, however, added that it will not be possible to have disbursement by then. He said only the structure and framework of the Fund are likely to be in place by then before resources are made available.
“I don’t think it will be practical to expect that come December 1, 2022, people will be able to receive the fund. It will be operationalised by that time. That is my personal view,” he said.
On the Budget for the financial year ending June 2024, Mr Anyona said they have lost about two months because of the transition after the August 9 elections.
However, in the revised Budget timetable, he said draft estimates will be ready for submission to Parliament on April 27, 2023.
Thereafter, the budget statement will be ready by June 8, 2023, followed by the approval of the Appropriation Bill by June 30, 2023.
He said the submission and review of sector budget proposals will be done by January 18, 2023, after the development of a draft budget policy statement by December 23, 2022.
“Review of strategic plans by ministries have been affected because of the transition. We have lost about two months of the budget-making process. However, we launched the process last week,” said Mr Anyona.