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Yatani's remarks mirror similar sentiments expressed by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya who on Tuesday said he will not shy away or be intimated when it comes to engaging in matters politics/FILE

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Yatani urges counties to draw Sh34.6bn balances at CBK amid cash crisis

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – The National Treasury has called on the county governments to utilize Sh34.6 billion held at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) as it works on disbursing arrears dating back two months.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the delay in disbursement has been occasioned by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which have slowed economic activities.

“Nonetheless, the National Treasury notes that as at 13 January 2021, the balances of the County Governments at the Central Bank of Kenya stands at Sh34.6 billion and appeal them to make full use of these funds in the meantime as further disbursements from exchequer are made in due course,” Yatani stated.

So far, the CS indicated that counties have received Sh133 billion of which Sh120.2 billion was sent to counties as equitable share and Sh13 billion as conditional grants.

Yatani exuded confidence that with the lifting of the tax relief measures, the national revenue collection will improve and the ministry will prioritize disbursements to the counties to clear the arrears.

Counties were allocated a total of Sh316.5 billion equitable share under the 2020-2021 financial year.  

County governments through the Council of Governors (CoG) have however decried delayed disbursements saying devolved units were experiencing difficulties funding critical expenses including payrolls for healthcare workers currently on strike.

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