Don’t touch county funds, development at stake, Mandago tells Rotich

Two North Rift Governors have opposed Treasury’s plans to reduce the amount of money allocated to them since the country is broke.

Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu) and Stephen Sang (Nandi) noted the money they got has already been allocated to projects.

He added that debts incurred by counties will increase if the revenue allocation is cut.

“Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich should not dare touch funds set aside for counties. We have already committed the funds so we will not allow any reduction,” he said at Chepkanga in Eldoret on Saturday.

Mandago and Sang further noted that cutting down the budget will cause counties to remain in “cycles of huge pending bills which are already a burden”.

The counties owe suppliers and contractors more than Sh40 billion.

Noting counties require more money, the two Governors asked Rotich to deduct amounts from other sectors and Kenyans to pay their taxes so governments can implement projects.

“If you avoid paying taxes, the government will neither give services not complete projects,” Mandago said.

While appearing before the Senate Finance committee last Wednesday, Rotich petitioned Parliament to reduce county allocations by between Sh15 billion and Sh18 billion in the next financial year.

He told Senators the government is “broke” and unable to raise much in terms of revenue.

The devolved units were allocated Sh302 billion in the 2017/18 financial year, meaning that in the next one, the amount will decline to between Sh287billion and Sh284 billion.

Rotich noted financial shortfalls resulted from 2017’s prolonged political season.

“This caused an overall drop in revenue collection but we are now recovering,” he said.

The government is projecting a Sh50 billion cut in spending this financial year. Rotich says the supplementary budget has increased spending in areas such as security, while other sectors have seen budget cuts.

Author: STN News

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