KQ poised for Ksh.10B bailout by state


KQ poised for Ksh.10B bailout by state
President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the inaugural Kenya Airways (KQ) direct flight from Nairobi to New York. PHOTO| PSCU

The details of the additional cash injection into the national carrier-KQ- are contained in the supplementary budget tabled in the national assembly as it resumed its sittings on Wednesday.

The funds, the National Treasury says will be crucial to sustain basic operations of the airline affected by COVID-19 pandemic. This split as eight billion and forty million shillings from the national treasury vote on public finance management. An additional two billion shilling will also be sourced from the ministry of transport under the air transport vote to cushion the airline.

Kenya Airways like many airlines globally has been hard hit by the ongoing pandemic. Its operations were grounded at the peak of the fight against the novel coronavirus last year and even after restrictions were eased; it is yet to fully resume operations.

On Monday, the airline unveiled a repurposed dream liner aircraft for cargo as passenger numbers remain suppressed. It hopes the cargo business will be critical in aiding it survive the ongoing financial turbulence.

In the mini budget, the government is seeking approval to spend two billion shillings for the commuter rail project, while another Ksh.2.7 billion is being sought for the construction of the Naivasha ICD-Longonot Railway link.

Some Ksh.5.4 billion has also been sought for the Nairobi Express Way whose completion date is set for December this year while a further 1.6 billion shillings is needed to build roads in the city’s informal settlement.

Kenya Postal office affected by low business over the years is also expected to receive Ksh. 810 million to shore up its operations if the national assembly passes the budget request.

Ksh. 700 million is also needed to settle My Gov advertisement pending bills.

Treasury also says Ksh.12.5 billion will be needed by the ministry of agriculture for maize subsidy pending bills and another 1.96 billion shillings that will go towards dessert locust management.

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