CRA proposes new allocation to counties for salaries, schools

The amount will be used to pay salaries, rehabilitate schools and build headquarters in the 2016/17 financial year.

Saturday February 13 2016

Commission on Revenue Allocation chairman Micah Cheserem (right)  with the chief executive George Ooko during a past briefing. Counties will receive an additional Sh25 billion to pay salaries, rehabilitate schools and build headquarters in the 2016/17 financial year.  FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA |

Commission on Revenue Allocation chairman Micah Cheserem (right) with the chief executive George Ooko during a past briefing. Counties will receive an additional Sh25 billion to pay salaries, rehabilitate schools and build headquarters in the 2016/17 financial year. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SILAS APOLLO
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Counties will receive an additional Sh25 billion to pay salaries, rehabilitate schools and build headquarters in the 2016/17 financial year.

The additional funds are due to a new allocation formula proposed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation for the counties in the next year.

The commission, in a statement said the new allocations will include Sh5 billion for salaries of devolved staff, Sh11.3 billion for rehabilitation of schools and a further Sh5 billion for emergency fund kitty.

Also included in the proposals, which have to first be approved by Parliament, is a Sh4 billion for the construction of county headquarters in Tharaka Nithi, Lamu, Nyandarua, Tana River and Isiolo.

Each of the five counties will receive Sh800 million. The commission is, however, silent on the fate of the other 42 county headquarters.

“It will be noted that the equitable share to county governments is recommended to rise from Sh260 billion, or 33 per cent of shareable revenue to Sh331 billion, which is 35 per cent of shareable revenue,” said Mr Micah Cheserem, the CRA chairman.

The proposals will see an improvement of allocation of grants to counties by Sh29 billion from the current financial year.

This year, the CRA allocated counties Sh16 billion as conditional grants for running of hospitals and the rehabilitation of roads.

The proposals on salaries are in response to complaints by governors that the commission had failed to consider funding salaries for the ballooning work force, most of who they inherited from the defunct local authorities.

Last week, the Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya, while responding to why counties had failed to release the excess workforce, said they will need an additional Sh180 billion as compensation to lay off the workers.

INHERITED STAFF

Already, the county bosses, led by Wycliffe Oparanya of the finance committee, have initiated dialogue with CRA to consider increasing allocation for salaries to the inherited staff.

“Kakamega County has the lowest per capita compared to all other counties in the country due to the current formula. The new formula should also consider the number of workforce inherited from the defunct local governments.

“Here in Kakamega, we inherited over 5, 000 workers from local governments,” said Mr Oparanya.

In the revised formula, CRA has also proposed an increase of funds to county hospitals and roads from the current Sh16 billion that was allocated in the 2015/16 financial year to Sh20 billion next year.

This will include an increase of Sh1billion for level five hospitals from Sh3 billion to Sh4 billion, free maternity Sh700 million, leasing of medical equipment Sh600 million and Sh1.4 billion for the roads fund kitty.

On Tuesday, Deputy President William Ruto faulted governors’ request for a Sh486 billion in the coming financial year, saying such would increase the country’s debt to soaring figures.

Mr Ruto, in an Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council meeting with the county bosses, instead asked them to “accept what the government is capable of funding”.

Governors had proposed that the equitable share transferable to counties be increased to 42.2 per cent of the total sharable revenue.

“The national government is constrained in terms of how much money it can share with counties. We should be modest in our expenditure so that we do not burden the country with debt,” said the DP.

And during their two day retreat at the Sagana lodge in Nyeri with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, the governors had faulted what they called poor funding from the national government, which they said had affected service delivery.

The county bosses had instead proposed an allocation of Sh91billion as a new conditional grants to be used in the running of hospitals, payment of salaries, building of headquarters as well as roads. This is according to documents sent by the Council of Governors to the CRA.

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