What you need to know:
- The Ministry of Health has also emerged as a big winner after MPs proposed an additional Sh16 billion to the key docket.
- The committee reviewed upwards allocations to the Ministry of Defence to cater for Sh6 billion in recurrent spending.
Members of the next Parliament will be among the biggest beneficiaries of Sh124 billion that a parliamentary committee wants added to the budget for the 2022/23 financial year.
This raises the overall expenditure from the Sh2.075 trillion estimate submitted by the National Treasury in the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) 2022/23, to Sh2.199 trillion.
The National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee report on the BPS tabled in Parliament on Tuesday proposes an additional Sh27.2 billion to Parliament’s budget, Sh16 billion to the Ministry of Health, Sh13. 7 billion to the Agriculture and Livestock sector, Sh13.2 billion to Defence and Sh10.7 billion more to the Housing docket.
If incorporated into the final statement, Parliament’s budget will hit Sh65.7 billion, with the additional proposed funds catering for a one-off expenditure on car grants (Sh4.2 billion), Sh6.67 billion gratuity for county workers and Sh873 million for post-retirement medical scheme and mortgage fund.
“The committee observed that the additional requests include one-off expenditures amounting to Sh11.7 billion, which are unavoidable under the current circumstances given the lapsing of the 12th Parliament,” said the committee.
The Ministry of Health has also emerged as a big winner after MPs proposed an additional Sh16 billion to the key docket, with an extra Sh1.2 billion for payment of salaries at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Sh1.2 billion for KNH Othaya Hospital and a similar amount for payment of salaries to workers at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).
MPs have also proposed an additional Sh1.4 billion for Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Sh1 billion for payment of interns and Sh381 million for blood supply.
The committee reviewed upwards allocations to the Ministry of Defence to cater for Sh6 billion in recurrent spending and a Sh3.6 billion development vote for modernising equipment, Sh500 million for border security and Sh500 million for maintenance of major equipment.
Sh2.5 billion more was approved under recurrent expenditure to cater for shortfalls in general administration, planning and support services, bring the ministry’s total expenditure for FY2022/23 to Sh170.77 billion.
Within the security docket, the committee further approved Sh6.5 billion for the State Department for Interior and Citizen Services, including Sh5.8 billion for enhancement of police insurance, Sh200 million for automation of immigration services in view of e-passport rollout and Sh300 million for the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to roll out smart driving licences through Huduma Centres and to refurbish motor vehicle inspection centres.
This is besides a Sh3.3 billion additional allocation to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) for recurrent expenditure and modernisation of intelligence equipment.
In total, the NIS’s budget is expected to hit Sh48.8 billion.
The departmental committee on Defense and Foreign Relations, however, cautioned that “the ever-increasing NIS budget is partly as a result of its role in critical strategic national objectives, including geo-physical survey. The survey has been completed in some of the counties.
“The committee observes that it is now due that results of these surveys are seen and utilised by the counties to assess the viability of investment opportunities with regard to available resources.”
The education and research docket’s budget was also given an additional Sh12.7 billion, of which Sh2.5 billion will be used to recruit 5,000 secondary school teachers.
MPs have also proposed an extra Sh4 billion for public universities to cater for lecturers’ salaries and Sh2 billion more for the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to cater for the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programme.
In the Housing sector, the National Assembly proposes an additional Sh8.9 billion to fund development projects, including Sh200 million for police housing, Sh1.8 billion for social housing, Sh1 billion for affordable housing, Sh5 billion allocation to the Housing Development Fund and Sh660 million to finance construction of 6,100 houses for civil servants.
The State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research also received an additional Sh13.38 billion, of which Sh10.88 billion will be utilised by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to stock National Food Reserve commodities and Sh1.5 billion to support 200,000 smallholder farmers access inputs.
But even as additional funding was recommended for the agencies in the coming financial year, others such as the State Department for Social Protection will lose out, after a total Sh110 million Treasury had proposed in the BPS was withdrawn.
Other agencies that have lost are those whose budgetary requirements still remain unmet in the latest proposals, led by the State Department for Regional and Northern Corridor Development. With a budgetary requirement of Sh27 billion, the state department’s allocation of Sh4.2 billion was retained, meaning it still has Sh22.8 billion in shortfalls.
The House committee also noted that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) resource requirements for the FY2022/23 is Sh27.3 billion but has only been allocated Sh21.7 billion, of which Sh15.7 billion will be used to conduct the August 9 General Election.
However, the committee notes that out of this allocation, Sh4.7 billion will be deducted and brought forward to cater for expenses during the ongoing (2021/2022) financial year, which will leave it short of cash during and after the election period.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) suffered a blow following allocation of Sh3.6 billion against a resource requirement of Sh6.2 billion, a shortfall that the committee noted is likely to impact the ability of the anti-corruption watchdog to carry out its mandate.
In total, the committee recommended a Sh300 million reduction on social protection’s recurrent budget (the only department to suffer a straight cut), Sh67.9 billion increase on recurrent budgets and Sh57.2 increase on development budgets.
The Registrar of Political Parties was allocated Sh2.08 billion despite requiring Sh5.97 billion, the better part of which will go to the political parties’ fund.
Of the Sh2.08 billion allocated, the agency has been given Sh585 million for its operations and Sh1.48 billion will go into the fund.
The committee expressed concerns over the proposed overall Sh846 billion budget deficit in the BPS, which risks breaching the Sh9 trillion debt ceiling if the deficit is approved.
“It is forecast that by the end of June 2022, the stock of debt will amount to Sh8.6 trillion, which means that the only amount available for the next financial year without an amendment of the ceiling will be Sh400 billion. The committee therefore recommends that the overall deficit be limited to Sh400 billion,” it stated.