NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – County governments will be allocated Sh210 billion to fund their operations in the next financial year after Parliament approved amendments to increase the allocation from Sh198 billion earlier proposed by the Treasury.
Leader of Majority Coalition in the National Assembly Aden Duale explained the amendment comes after the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and the national treasury reached a consensus on the funds.
“We had promised that the county governments would get 40 percent of the national budget. For now, we have managed 31.2 percent which is far above the minimum constitutional requirement of 15 percent,” Duale stated.
The 31.2 percent was calculated from the audited revenue of the 2010/2011 financial year because the 2011/2012 figures were tabled in the House but they are yet to be approved.
The Constitution states that revenue sharing is to be done on the total national tax revenue, with the supreme law setting a minimum of 15 percent.
Counties will share Sh190 billion under a formula approved by Parliament last year with the remainder of the funds set to be distributed as conditional grants.
Cherangany MP Wesley Korir seconded the Bill and said wrangles at many county offices were fuelled by lack of funds to run development programmes.
“I have had the benefit of leaving a part of my life in a country where devolution works, I think for us to develop this country, I think we need to ensure that the devolved government can generate revenue to add to what it gets from the national government,” the former Boston Marathon champion said.
The Bill is an Act of Parliament to provide for the equitable division of revenue raised between the national and county governments.
MPs put the National Treasury on the spotlight over what they said is scaling down revenue allocation to county governments.
Suba MP John Mbadi said devolution was central to country’s development adding that every effort must be put in place to “We need to put enough efforts to ensure counties succeed.”
“We should think of giving more and more to our county governments,” he added.
Duale also clarified that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) will for the moment continue to be allocated 2.5 percent of the national budget.
“CDF will be factored in the national budget and not the county budgets,” he explained.
Kitutu Chache North MP Jimmy Angwenyi asked colleagues to guard the CDF and ensure it gets more funding.
“CDF is further devolution to the grassroots. This is something that we must guard it even with our life if it becomes necessary,” he stated while pleading with the National CDF Board to increase CDF allocation from 2.5 to 6 percent of the national budget.