BIG 4 AGENDA STALLS

Treasury fails to release Sh256 billion as cash crunch bites

Projects worth Sh112.73 billion were not funded as the Treasury failed to release the funds.

In Summary
  • Treasury closed the 2020-21 financial year without releasing Sh87.99 billion to government ministries, departments and agencies for recurrent expenses.
  • Counties received Sh347.85 billion or 86.3 per cent of their annual allocation during the financial year that ended on Wednesday.
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani outside Parliament Buildings on June 11, 2020.
BUDGET: Treasury CS Ukur Yatani outside Parliament Buildings on June 11, 2020.
Image: /FREDERICK OMONDI

National development projects and county governments suffered the most in the just ended financial year after the Treasury failed to release Sh256.27 billion.

The latest report on the status of disbursement of funds to the two levels of government at the end of the fiscal year shows projects worth Sh112.73 billion were not funded.

The Treasury closed the 2020-21 financial year without releasing Sh87.99 billion to government ministries, departments and agencies for recurrent expenses.

In the report that further reveals the extent of the cash crisis biting the government, some Sh55.45 billion for the counties had not been disbursed as of June 30.

The devolved units received Sh347.85 billion or 86.3 per cent of their annual allocation during the financial year that ended on Wednesday.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani has admitted the cash crisis and attributed the cash flow problems to underperforming revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the report exclusively obtained by the Star from the office of Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o, Treasury disbursed Sh321.29 billion, representing 74.0 per cent of the annual development allocation of Sh434.03 billion for the national government.

The non-release of the funds has spelt doom for the developments, some of which are President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy projects under the Big 4 Agenda.

The four pillars of the agenda are food security, universal health care, affordable housing, manufacturing and job creation.

Last month, the National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee cast doubt on the realisation of the projects before the President’s tenure ends in August next year.

The committee chaired by Kieni MP Kanini Kega, for instance, said universal health coverage, which is supposed to cover one million poor households at Sh6 billion annually, had not taken off.

Under the housing agenda, a target to deliver 500,000 affordable and decent housing units to Kenyans has fallen short of expectations as only 1, 370 units have been built.

According to the latest report, the ministry supposed to oversee the rollout of UHC did not receive Sh22.46 billion of the Sh40.17 billion it was allocated for development.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development charged with the realisation of 500,000 housing units received Sh15.20 billion out of the Sh22.92 billion development vote.

Transport got Sh15.10 billion or 69 per cent of its annual development budget during the year under review.

The Ministry of Energy received Sh25.07 billion of the Sh32.23 billion development budget, Water got Sh24.77 billion of the Sh34.48 billion budget while Tourism did not get Sh1.39 billion of its development allocation.

Agriculture only got Sh1.99 billion of Sh2.99 billion budget, Vocational Training missed out on Sh2.25 billion of the Sh2.80 billion allocation while Basic Education did not get Sh3.3 billion.

Industrialisation did not receive Sh1.26 billion, Judiciary failed to get Sh176.06 million while Parliament failed to secure Sh1.75 billion out of Sh3.56 billion it was allocated for the year.

For the counties, Mombasa received the lowest amount in terms of percentage. The county got 76 per cent or Sh7.25 billion out of the Sh9.48 billion it was allocated.

Machakos is yet to get Sh1.91 billion, Kitui has not received Sh1.50 billion, Kwale is still waiting for 1.63 billion, while Mandera is yet to get Sh1.36 billion.

Other counties with huge balances yet to be disbursed are Nairobi (Sh1.91 billion), Nakuru (Sh2.55 billion), Nyamira (Sh1.09 billion) and Meru (Sh1.15 billion).

Others are Trans Nzoia (Sh1.24 billion), Uasin Gishu (Sh1.33 billion), Wajir (Sh1.26 billion), Turkana (Sh1.56 billion), Kisii (Sh1.28 billion) and Kisumu (Sh1.54 billion.), Garissa (Sh1.33 billion) and Homa Bay (Sh1.17 billion).

Mid-last month, governors threatened to shut down the devolve units after they lamented prolonged delayed by the Treasury to release the money.

On Wednesday, Treasury released Sh30 billion to the devolved units, barely a week after it released Sh43 billion to avert the shutdown.

Edited by Henry Makori

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star