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House to consider report on budget estimates for year ending June 20

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 9 – Members of Parliament were on Wednesday expected to consider and adopt the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Estimates.

The report is seeking the approval of issuance of a sum of Sh1.94 trillion from the Consolidated Fund to meet the expenditure of the National Government, Judiciary and Parliament during the year ending June 20, 2022.

The report which was submitted in the House by Committee Chairperson and Kieni MP Kanini Kega recommended Sh37.9 billion be allocated to Parliament and Sh17.8 billion to the Judiciary.

He recommended among other things for the establishment of a Fund that may be financed through a long term bond for the payment of the existing verified pending bills and court awards.

The Kanini team said the fund should be in place by October.

“Despite the presidential directive in June 2019 that all pending bills by government agencies be cleared immediately, they continue to present a significant challenge in almost all sectors of the budget. It is noted that the veracity of some of these pending bills is in doubt,” Committee report stated.

The MPs also flagged stalled projects something that had become a permanent feature of our budget.

“There is no adherence to the project guidelines issued by the National Treasury including the introduction of new projects before completion off existing ones despite the thin spread of resources. A policy must be implemented to ensure enforcement of PFM and Treasury guidelines. Sanctions should be instituted to MDAs thaat introduce new projects before completion of existing projects,” the report further stated.

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The Committee has faulted the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning on its failure to commence the use of a cashless revenue collection system by May 30.

The National Treasury, the State Department for Social Protection and State Department for ASAL were advised to consolidate all the existing cash transfer programmes under one umbrella and submit a report on the same to the National Assembly by January 1, 2021.

The Committee also recommended that the Ministry of Health, the National Treasury, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Ministry of Education and National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) actualizes the amalgamation of EduAfya Medical Insurance, Linda Mama, Health Insurance Subsidy Programme (HISP), Orphans and Vulnerable Children Cash Transfer (OVC-CT) to form one Universal Healthcare Cover (UHC) scheme for the indigents through NHIF.

A report should be submitted to the National Assembly by October 1.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani will be presenting the National Budget in Parliament on Thursday.

According to the Committee, the National Treasury projects a total revenue collection of Sh2,039 billion in 2021/2022, which is an increase by approximately Sh210 billion from the 2020/2021 level.

“Of this amount, ordinary revenue will constitute Sh1.8 billion compared to Sh1.6 billion in the current financial year. Income tax, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of tax revenue, is projected to increase by Sh102 billion and amount of Sh835 billion in FY2021/2022.”

On the other hand, the Committee noted that VAT is projected at Sh473 billion, Excise Duty at Sh241 billion and Import duty at Sh119 billion; compared to Sh395 billion, Sh209 billion and Sh96 billion respectively in 2020/2021.

“Though the revenue projections appear to be conservative and have complied with the IMF benchmarks, it should be noted that the expected revenue performance is based on sustained recovery in economic performance. Should the risks to the growth outlook highlighted materialize, it may lead to significantly lower than projected tax revenue collection,” the Committee noted.

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