NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – County Governments will now share Sh210 billion in the 2013/2014 financial year.
This follows negotiations between the Treasury, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), the Transition Authority (TA) and Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday.
According to estimates tabled by Majority Leader Aden Duale earlier, the Treasury had allocated Sh198 billion to County governments.
The Deputy President who has been chairing meetings between the CRA and the TA again emphasised that the Jubilee government had to ensure that devolution worked.
He said: “It is a breakthrough for the country; we want to move forward with the development agenda. Going forward we want to ensure that there is sufficient money for all devolved functions.”
Ruto said that the government will work with county governments for capacity building to ensure that they deliver functions they are required to under the Constitution.
The meetings were attended by CRA commissioners and Treasury officials including Investment Secretary Esther Koimett and Senior Economic Advisor Kamau Thuge.
The Treasury is expected to make amendments to the estimates before the Division of Revenue Bill is passed by Parliament on Thursday.
CRA chairman Micah Cheserem says that the county governments will share Sh190 billion equitably, Sh16 billion will go to financing devolved functions and Sh4 billion to be shared between counties with provincial (Level 5) hospitals.
He has advised County governments to budget for recurrent expenditure first and budget for development from the balance.
“We are persuaded as CRA that the money we had recommended for creating structures in county governments may not happen in the first financial year but we are also persuaded that in the event that there are real difficulties the national government will step in,” he explained.
Earlier on Wednesday, Governors said that they wanted the national government to allocate funds to the County governments as recommended by CRA which wanted Sh231 billion paid out.
The Chairman of the Council of Governors, Isaac Ruto appealed to lawmakers not to relent in support for the formula that was approved by the 10th Parliament saying it will ensure resources are distributed equally.
The Bomet Governor warned that double digit economic growth can only be achieved through adequate resource allocation to the County governments across the country.
“Whereas the Constitution mandates CRA to make recommendations concerning the basis for the equitable sharing of revenue raised by the national government, their constitutional mandate has been usurped,” Ruto added.
Ruto has however assured that the reduction of the CRA proposal by at least Sh21 billion will not affect the county budgets arguing that the amount was factored as part of the contingency measures during the costing.