, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 5 – Finance Minister Njeru Githae says the 2012-2013 budget is set at Sh1.4 trillion up from Sh1.15 trillion in the previous financial year.
Githae told Parliament’s Budget Committee that he will present the Budget Policy for the Financial year 2012/2013 next Thursday simultaneously with his Finance counterparts in the East African Community region.
He appealed to the committee members who will submit their report to Parliament for debate not to cut funding to security agencies, particularly the National Security Intelligence Service.
The Finance Minister said that the allocation of Sh13.4 billion was crucial to the spy agency’s mandate especially in the wake of the on-going military operation being carried out by the Kenya Defence Forces.
It has emerged that the Parliamentary Committee had wanted to strip the spy agency of some Sh5.2 billion and allocate it elsewhere. They argue that the NSIS got funds they had requested.
Githae explained; “We went through their budget line, by line and found that whatever we had given them was actually the minimum if they are to protect this country to be able to detect saboteurs even before they do something.”
He cited recent threats by the terror group Al Shaabab to bring down certain skyscrapers in the city as a way of hitting back for the KDF deployment.
“In fact they said that they cannot go out on the media, and state the number of threats they have been able to intercept before they have happened, they are actually very many,” he told the MPs.
The Finance Minister insisted that the Sh17.5 billion allocated to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is enough and urged the polls body to stop threatening Kenyans that elections cannot be held without the Sh40 billion it is asking for.
“We went with them through their budget line by line, item by item until we came up with what in our view was fair, reasonable and which would make them conduct a fair and credible election.”
Githae told the committee that he budgeted for Sh151 billion for the realisation of County Governments, where he also said he had deployed officers to assist in establishing County Treasuries.
He also told the committee that Treasury is comfortable with the current public debt levels at 47 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
“Treasury’s self-imposed limit is 50 percent of the GDP. We are now at 47 which means we have room, but once you start getting to 100 percent of your GDP then you are in serious problems. Those are the problems that led to the collapse of Greece and Spain’s economy,” he stated.