WATCHDOG

MP Aden Duale demands statement on soaring public debt

Said there is lack of approved criteria in the allocations for development expenditures.

In Summary

• Duale an explanation on the actual total loan commitments (disbursed and undisbursed debts) to date including a breakdown by the lender and the terms of repayment.

• The MP said the national public debt stock stood at Sh7.74 trillion, which is equivalent to 69.07 per cent of GDP at the end of June 2021.

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale during an interview at his office on September 16
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale during an interview at his office on September 16
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has called on the chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning to give a status of public debt and the national government’s budgetary allocations for development programmes.

In a statement to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, the MP wants the committee to submit reports from 2013-14 to the current financial year.

The MP said that according to the Treasury, the national public debt stock stood at Sh7.74 trillion, which is equivalent to 69.07 per cent of GDP at the end of June 2021.

Duale argues that the total loan commitments which is Sh9.04 trillion has exceeded the public debt, which was approved by the Parliament in 2019, contrary to Article 211 of the Constitution, and Section 50(2) of the Public Finance Management Act of 2012.

“The huge loan commitments have been due to huge borrowing by the national government to repay loans for recurrent operations including salaries, and repayment of loan commitment fee,” Duale said.

He said the inefficiencies in drawing-down borrowings by the implementing government agencies have led to the loss of public funds and imprudent and irresponsible use of money contrary to the principles of the Public Finance Act.

“The development expenditure by the national government is to promote the equitable development of the country, including by making special provisions for marginalised groups and areas.”

The MP said that there is a lack of approved criteria in the allocations for development expenditure programmes in various counties.

He added that public debt per person stands at Sh165,000.

The six demands from the former Majority Leader in the National Assembly are:

 

  • The actual total loan commitments (disbursed and undisbursed debts) to date including a breakdown by the lender and the terms of repayment.
  • The total public guaranteed debt including dormant loans by State-Owned Enterprises and actions taken by the National Treasury for recoveries.
  • The list of all ministries, departments, and agencies who failed to drawdown their loan balances on the time.
  • The steps that are being taken by the National Treasury to ensure prudent and responsible use of public money.
  • Total national government’s budgetary allocations and actual expenditure for development programs including the list of development projects and the cost for the financial years 2013/2014 to the current financial year.
  • The criteria being used by the National Treasury in the allocations for development programs to various regions.