Treasury cuts Ksh.8.7 billion from planned spending to June 30

The National Treasury has proposed cuts netting of to Ksh.8.7 billion to government spending in the next three weeks to June 30. The fronted adjustments make part of the second supplementary budget estimates for the 2020/2021 financial year, tabled in Parliament on the eve of budget day. The introduction of the secondary budget marks a continued trend in haphazard adjustments to spending plans in recent financial years. At the same time, the new secondary estimates which require the approval of Members of Parliament come in just over three weeks to the end of the fiscal year. The National Treasury has premised the new adjustments on the need to provide additional resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “It seeks to address COVID-19 related expenditures, regularize approved additional expenditure granted under Article 223 of the Constitution and approved re-allocations,” the exchequer said in a statement enjoined to the fresh estimates. The highlight of the mini-budget is the allocation of Ksh.6.5 billion for the acquisition of vaccines. In his budget statement on Thursday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani indicated total allocations by the national government for vaccines across the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years now stand at Ksh.14.3 billion. Other winners in the mini-budget include the Kazi Mtaani program which taps an additional Ksh.3 billion, the State department of Sports which gets an extra Ksh.4.2 billion. The State Department of Wildlife will meanwhile see its allocation enhanced by Ksh.1.2 billion to cater for salary shortfalls in the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and provisioning for the wildlife census. However, the State department of University Education has seen its budget shrunk by Ksh.17.2 billion from the non-performance of appropriation in aid (A-i-A) by its parent ministry. Other agencies taking a haircut in the supplementary include the Miistry of Water which sheds Ksh.2.1 billion to water resource management resources and the Ministry of Energy which loses Ksh.7.3 billion scheduled for power transmission and distribution. The reduction in appropriations is largely attributable to slower cash-flows for donor and external funded projects. While new estimates are Ksh.8.7 billion lower than those in Supplementary I, the mini-budget still exceeds the originally approved budget in June 2020 by Ksh.75.4 billion.

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