The National Assembly has approved a Sh47.6 billion supplementary budget to fund key programmes, including fresh presidential election.
The passing of the estimates on Wednesday saw the Kenya’s development budget for 2017/18 reduced by Sh24.9 billion as recurrent expenditure shot up by Sh63.5 billion.
This also saw the budget for the current financial year increase by Sh38.6 billion.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was allocated Sh12 billion to prepare for fresh presidential election, including buying of materials.
MPs also nodded to a Sh25-billion allocation for free secondary education that starts January 2018.
Although Nasa leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the fresh presidential race, plunging the country into a legal crisis, Kipkelion East MP Mr Joseph Limo, who chaired a special committee that processed the supplementary budget, said preparations must go on.
“We have not received any indication from IEBC that there will be no election. The election will go on as scheduled and the money stands allocated,” Mr Limo said.
The government will also spend Sh6.5 billion on Inua Jamii, a social protection plan for people above 70 years and Sh2 billion to settle Kenyans uprooted from their homes during the 2007/08 post-poll chaos.
The Sh4.2 billion allocated for Africa Nations Championships was, however, withdrawn after the Confederation of African Football stripped Kenya of hosting rights for lack of up-to-standard infrastructure.
The passage of the estimates saw reorganisation in the budgetary allocations for various government agencies.
Although the National Treasury had targeted to reduce the Sh36 billion allocated to Parliament by Sh9.2 billion, the Parliamentary Service Commission put up a spirited fight.
The committee would scale down the figure by Sh3.5 billion.
While appearing before a special committee, PSC Secretary Jeremiah Nyaga said the reduction would seriously affect the operations of Parliament.
“The MPs may be evicted from their offices because of Parliament’s failure to pay their rent. We may as well close shop and go home. Though give and take is the way to go, if you ask me, we are comfortable with zero reduction,” Mr Nyegenye, who is also the Clerk of the Senate, told the committee.
The works on the Sh5 billion multi-storey office block for MPs will now proceed after MPs restored the Sh2.4 billion allocated for its completion.
The amount was approved in the current financial year but had been hived off by the National Treasury to fund the fresh election.
The building is now set for completion by the end of 2018.
The amount is part of the Sh3.81 billion allocated for House operations and maintenance.
Another Sh1.9 billion was also allocated for general administration, planning and support services with Sh1.5 billion extra for National Government- Constituency Development Fund.
However, Parliament suffered reductions in domestic and foreign travel as well as acquisition of vehicles and furniture for the MPs.
The government will also recruit 10,000 teachers in anticipation of increased enrollment of students as the Jubilee government prepares to roll out free secondary education in January next year.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’I, while defending the billions before the special committee, said the amount was critical in actualising jubilee’s 2017 campaign pledges.
The Sh25 billion allocated to the ministry, however, does not include the hiring of the extra teachers.
At least Sh1.4 billion will fund the expanded infrastructure in secondary schools, which includes building classes, science laboratories among others.
The sanitary towels programme has been allocated Sh600 million to be channelled through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund currently overseen by the 47 county woman representatives.
At least Sh3.7 billion will fund the food subsidy programme.