Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
The government yesterday yielded to pressure from the National Assembly and reinstated various allocations that had previously been slashed by Treasury.
MPs then approved the supplementary estimates that recommended the original 2018/2019 financial year be reduced further to Sh37.6 billion up from an earlier projection of Sh55.1 billion.
Allocations to the Parliamentary Service Commission(PSC), Senate and National Assembly were reviewed to Sh3.5 billion from the Sh6 billion cut previously recommended.
Apart from Parliament, the other beneficiary is the Judiciary whose allocation of Sh1.5 billion that had earlier been recommended for reduction was reinstated.
“There is an overall reduction in the total budget for the financial year 2018/2019 by Sh 37.6 billion and a reduction of the total recurrent expenditure by Sh9 billion. The reduction for the capital expenditure is Sh28.5 billion,” read a report from the House.
In its report to the National Assembly, the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) recommended that the allocations to the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) that had been reduced to Sh600 million be reinstated to Sh 2.1 billion.
MPs also reviewed the budget cuts for the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) from the initial figure of Sh5.9 billion deduction to Sh2.4 billion.
Mileage and personal emoluments for members have not been reduced. Those that have been affected include reallocations and reductions on domestic, foreign travel and training.
The other sectors that will suffer budget cuts includes country governments which will now have to do without Sh9.04 billion, which is equivalent to 2.9 per cent of their initial budget.
Others are State Department for Petroleum with exploration and distribution of oil and gas budget slashed to Sh1.5b, State Department of Infrastructure Sh8.7 billion, National Treasury Sh6.5 billion, devolution Sh6.05 billion, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology Sh5.9 billion, Energy Sh2.6 billion, Public Service Commission Sh2.3 billion and the Nation Assembly Sh2.6 billion.
BAC chairperson Kimani Ichung’wa said that review of the PSC budget is because the deductions that had earlier been proposed would have affected up to 40 per cent of the functioning of Parliament.
While moving the motion Ichung’wa told the government to still engage the International Monetary Services (IMF) on the stand by credit.
He said: “PSC proposal to reduce the parliamentary budget by a figure of Sh5 billion could have seen the entire budget affected by up to 40 per cent and that is why we have rationalised this, so that the austerity measures cutting across government is between 15 and 20 per cent.”