•Notably the ministerial recurrent budget has been revised upwards by Sh86.4 billion while the development budget has been reduced by Sh40.9 billion.
•The reduction in development expenditure may negatively affect completion of ongoing projects resulting to additional pending bills.
Kenyans will have to contend with reduced development funding at the expense of increased expenditure on operations and maintenance.
A supplementary budget passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday evening, chopped the development budget despite ballooning expenses from incomplete development projects.
The estimates, proposes to increase the overall budget by Sh187.28 billion from the approved estimates of Sh3.7 trillion to Sh3.9 trillion.
Notably the ministerial recurrent budget has been revised upwards by Sh86.4 billion while the development budget has been reduced by Sh40.9 billion.
The Budget and Appropriations committee observed that the increase in recurrent expenditure will be financed by additional National Treasury funding of Sh49.53 billion and an expected Sh34.23 billion in recurrent Appropriations-in-Aid (funds raised internally from fees and services by ministries and state departments) .
The Ndidi Nyoro led committee raised concern over how such critical recurrent expenditures were left out during the budget making process which raises concerns over the credibility of the overall expenditure framework.
“The committee took note of the reduction in development expenditure on account of budget rationalisation particularly in the State Department for Roads and State Department for Housing and Urban Development.” said Nyoro in the report to the clerk of the National Assembly.
“This reduction will affect GoK funded projects whose budget has been reduced by Sh38.82 billion and development-partner financed projects whose budget has been reduced by Sh3.01 billion,”
The reduction in development expenditure may negatively affect completion of ongoing projects resulting to additional pending bills.
This coming at a time that the country recently won the joint bid to host the African Cup of Nations in 2027 which calls for increased infrastructure investments.
National Treasury has revised the total revenue target for FY 2023/2024 upwards by Sh39.7 billion from Sh2.98 trillion to Sh3.02 trillion.
This has been attributed to the revenue mobilisation policies spelt out in the Finance Act 2023 which are expected to boost revenue collection above the historical average growth rate of about 10 percent.
However, the committee noted that ordinary revenue collection by the Kenya Revenue Authority in the period between July and September 2023 was below planned target by Sh72.5 billion.
This was however attributed to the delayed implementation of the Finance Act 2023.
Nyoro nonetheless cautioned that this may still be an indication that the ambitious revenue target set for FY 2023/2024 may not be attained.
The supplementary budget has also increased the overall expenditure by 4.9 percent to Sh3.98 trillion.
The total debt servicing has been adjusted upwards by 14.8 percent to Sh1.87 trillion.
This revision primarily stems from external debt service, which has been increased by 35 percent to Sh835 billion.
In contrast, local debt service has only been revised up by 2percent to Sh 1.03 trillion.
These alterations in debt service allocation illustrate the impact of the depreciating shilling on the country's debt service.