DP Ruto faults governors Sh486bn demand, CRA backs counties

Wednesday February 10 2016

Deputy President William Ruto chats with governors (from left) Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma), Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Evans Kidero of Nairobi on February 9, 2016. PHOTO | DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto chats with governors (from left) Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma), Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Evans Kidero of Nairobi on February 9, 2016. PHOTO | DPPS  

By ISAAC ONGIRI
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Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday differed with governors over their proposal to have the total revenue allocated to counties raised to Sh486 billion in the coming financial year.

The governors’ proposal — tabled during an Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council meeting held at the Deputy President’s residence in Karen, Nairobi — suggested the equitable share transferable to counties be increased to 42.2 per cent of the total sharable revenue, which currently stands at Sh936 billion.

EQUITABLE SHARE

Last night, the Nation established that governors were to fly to Sagana State Lodge, where they will Wednesday meet President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss a number of issues, including their demand for more funds.

The county proposals put the total equitable share at Sh395 billion compared to a proposal by the National Treasury, which maintains that devolved units should only be allocated Sh259.7 billion, being 33.4 per cent of the  equitable share.

Documents seen by the Nation show the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) agreeing with governors’ request for increased funding.

The CRA, however, proposes that the allocation be increased to Sh331 billion, which represents 35.5 percent of the equitable share.

UNDERSTANDING

But Tuesday, Mr Ruto said: “The national government is constrained in terms of how much money it can share with counties.”

He urged county bosses to be understanding in their demands for additional allocations, saying they should accept what the government is capable of funding.

“We should be modest in our expenditure so that we do not burden the country with debt,” said the DP.

In the governors’ proposal, the Treasury is also expected to release an additional Sh91 billion as a conditional allocation to counties.

The conditional allocation includes Sh5 billion to fund the additional needs for early childhood development education, Sh5.1 billion for personal emoluments for devolved staff, Sh4 billion for the construction of headquarters in four counties, Sh17 billion for the rehabilitation of schools, Sh5.1 billion for emergency funds and another Sh18 billion for the rehabilitation of village polytechnics.

But the DP appealed to the Treasury to allocate Sh1.5 billion to fund the rehabilitation of village polytechnics across the country.

A statement issued later by the DP’s office says governors agreed to have the allocation increased to 35 per cent as proposed by the CRA.

The meeting also agreed that both the CRA proposal and that of the Treasury be forwarded to the National Assembly and the Senate for further deliberations.