Treasury wants Ksh 64B approved by MPs to address food crisis

Treasury wants Ksh 64B approved by MPs to address food crisis

The Treasury, on Tuesday, May 30 tabled a Ksh 64.1 billion supplementary budget, before Parliament, meant to finance the maize subsidy program, training of police officers and buying of vehicles to heighten security among other services ahead of the August 8 polls.

According to the budget, nearly Ksh 8 billion will be used to fund the food subsidy program to deal with the high prices of maize flour that has stirred a public outcry.

If the Budget and Appropriation Committee approves the budget, which comes just a month to the end of a 2016/2017 Financial Year, Ksh 48.6 billion will be channeled to the national government, with the Treasury arguing that large percentage, Ksh 42.1 billion, of the money will be used to fund ongoing development projects that will help Kenyans.

However, the budget office notes that Ksh 32.7 billion out of the Ksh 42.1 billion will be sourced from donors, with MPs of the committee lamenting the move will increase the already booming public debt.

The Treasury also intends to allocate Ksh 3.7 billion of the budget towards the strategic grain reserve, to increase the acquisition of maize from 500, 000 bags of 90kg to 3.6 million bags of 90kg to sustain the subsidized price of Ksh 90 per 2kg packet of maize flour.

The Ministry of Interior, under the stewardship of Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, is also among the main beneficiaries with the budget proposing Ksh 3.7 billion towards the docket where it will be largely for recruiting and training of police officers and enhancing security for Kenyans ahead of the polls.

The Ministry has, however, tabled a request to the Treasury for an additional Ksh 523 million for planning, policy coordination and support services that include purchasing of motor vehicles, although National Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee, chaired by Mutava Musyimi, has expressed discontent as it is not clear why the Interior Ministry require an additional allocation yet books of record and number of police to be recruited remains the same as per initial targets.

Consolidated funds services will be increased by Ksh 15.5 billion with Ksh 10.5 billion directed towards the Treasury bond interests, Ksh 1 billion for civil servants’ pension and Ksh 4 billion for civil servants gratuity.

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Story By Majanga Michael
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