Treasury gives Presidency Sh725m more for catering, hospitality

Increase for Presidency comes against the backdrop of cuts in spending for ministries.

Wednesday March 23 2016

President Uhuru Kenyatta briefing the press after holding bilateral talks with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Nairobi on January 28, 2016. Treasury has allocated State House Sh725m more for catering and hospitality. Kenya is set to host British Prime Minister, South Korean and Egyptian presidents this year. PHOTO | PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta briefing the press after holding bilateral talks with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Nairobi on January 28, 2016. Treasury has allocated State House Sh725m more for catering and hospitality. Kenya is set to host British Prime Minister, South Korean and Egyptian presidents this year. PHOTO | PSCU 

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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Treasury has allocated the Presidency an additional Sh725 million for catering and other hospitality supplies in the Supplementary Budget.

Senators have also been given Sh336 million for monitoring and evaluation of the county governments, according to a Parliamentary Budget Office analysis of the estimates.

The Budget Office said ministries had been asked to cut down on domestic and foreign travel, subsistence and other transportation costs and hospitality supply and services, because of a slowdown in the economy and a failure to hit revenue collection targets.

“However, it is noted that some agencies have had their estimates increased despite a Treasury circular requiring all agencies to adopt austerity measures in the aforementioned vote lines,” said the analysis prepared for MPs.

Overall, the budget for the Presidency, which caters for President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, was increased by Sh1.2 billion in what is likely to raise eyebrows, coming against the backdrop of cuts in expenditure for ministries.

PRESIDENTIAL VISITS

British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to visit Kenya in June and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye at a date yet to be announced.

Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is also expected to visit, having cancelled his February date.

The additional allocation is comparable to that under the Lamu Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset) project, which was allocated an additional Sh1 billion.

This was after concerns by some MPs that the current administration appears to have neglected projects initiated by the administration of Mwai Kibaki.

On Tuesday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said his ministry had agreed with their Transport counterparts to have Lapsset implemented in three phases as it would be difficult to get the Sh42 billion needed to finance the entire project.

“It is relevant especially in how we evacuate our crude oil. There is also a strong link between infrastructure development and security, but, you know there are always competing priorities,” he added.

He said for now, the important point would be to consider the reports of technical teams that have been considering the different routes and decide on the position going forward.

Apart from the presidency, the Sports ministry had its budget for foreign travel increased by Sh130 million and hospitality budget by Sh100 million to cater for international competitions.

The Teachers Service Commission was also a beneficiary of an increment and got Sh6.8 billion.

To fund the war on corruption, Mr Rotich said the five agencies involved have been allocated an additional Sh2.7 billion.

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