Kazi Mtaani, MoH get more money as universities' kitty slashed

CS Ukur Yatani before he read the Budget of 2020/21 at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. June 11, 2020. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Learning institutions, the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company are among the major losers in the latest changes contained in a mini-budget that was tabled on Wednesday in the National Assembly.

Public universities have lost Sh17.1 billion while early education and secondary education will have to end the current financial year with a deduction of Sh2.5 billion and Sh1.4 billion less.

This is after the Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury Ukur Yatani tabled his second Supplementary Budget for the Financial Year ending June which will see the country’s total spending reduce by Sh8.7 billion.

Yatani said that following some of the changes made to various spending items, some programmes have exceeded the allowable 10 per cent threshold.

“We are in this regard, requesting for special approval of the expenditures adjustments which are beyond the 10 per cent threshold in accordance with regulation 40 (9) of the Public Finance Management Regulations, 2015,” said Yatani.

On why the government has slashed funding to universities, Yatani explained that this was occasioned by low income owing to the negative effects of Covid-19 which saw the institutions close for the better part of 2020.

The changes to the current budget, ending this month, comes a day before the budget reading and will also affect other entities, notably the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) which will lose Sh2 billion in Yatani’s supplementary budget.

Other major losers in the latest changes that will also see the budget deficit as percentage of the total size of the economy rise to 8.6 per cent include KETRACO, whose budget has been shrunk by Sh7.3 billion for failure to absorb funds from external lenders.

It is the same reason that saw Sh7.6 billion chopped from Marine Transport. The Ministry of Energy has lost Sh6.5 billion. Yatani’s Treasury ministry lost Sh3.5 billion.

Youths working under the Kazi Mtaani programme will be smiling to the bank after Treasury allocated them an additional Sh3 billion in what is aimed at keeping the youths that might have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic at work. In the upcoming Financial Year, Treasury has, however, not made allocations funds to Kazi Mtaani.

The Ministry of Health will receive an additional Sh6.5 billion for procurement of vaccines against Covid-19 pandemic while Devolution got a shot in the arm by being allocated an additional Sh5 billion. Sports will get an additional Sh4.2 billion.

Other winners include oil wholesalers, who have been allocated Sh1.49 billion after the Government took away their margin in a bid to stabilize petrol prices.

State House will get an additional Sh1.03 billion for operations and maintenance.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) employees got an additional Sh1.46 billion in salary increment following a census of the wild animals that the department had undertaken.

The Teachers Service Commission has however received an additional Sh1.1 billion for the recruitment of more teachers. 

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