Varsities, NMS biggest losers in Supplementary Budget changes

A section of KCA University graduands during the marking of 11th graduation ceremony in Nairobi on Friday, November 22, 2019.

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

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

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

Mr Yatani said 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 expenditure adjustments which are beyond the 10 per cent threshold in accordance with regulation 40 (9) of the Public Finance Management Regulations, 2015,” he said. The CS said the spending cut for universities was as a result of low income owing to the negative effects of Covid-19, which saw learning institutions close for the better part of last year.

The changes came just a day before the Budget Speech for the 2021-22 financial year and will see the deficit as a percentage of the total size of the economy rise to 8.6 per cent.

NMS will lose Sh2 billion while Ketraco’s allocation 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 lost Sh6.5 billion while the National Treasury lost Sh3.5 billion. However, the youth working under the Kazi Mtaani programme are some of the gainers after Treasury allocated an additional Sh3 billion to the initiative.

The programme, though, has not been allocated any money in the coming financial year. The Health ministry will receive an additional Sh6.5 billion for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines. The immunisation of Kenyans against the deadly disease is aimed at helping the economy return to normalcy.

Devolution got an additional Sh5 billion while Sports will get Sh4.2 billion more. Other winners include oil wholesalers who have been allocated Sh1.49 billion after the State took away their earnings margin in a bid to stabilise petrol prices.

State House will also get an additional Sh1.03 billion for operations and maintenance.The Kenya Wildlife Service employees got an additional Sh1.46 billion in salary increment following a census of the wild animals carried out in May. Teachers Service Commission has received Sh1.1 billion more to recruit teachers.

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