- National Treasury is yet to disburse Sh155.4 billion in equitable share to county governments with barely two months to the end of the financial year.
- Data from the Treasury submitted to a Senate watchdog committee shows that Treasury has released only Sh216.4 billion since July 1, 2022.
The National Treasury is yet to disburse Sh155.4 billion in equitable share to county governments with barely two months to the end of the financial year.
Data from submitted to a Senate watchdog committee shows Treasury has released only Sh216.4 billion since July 1, 2022.
The releases translate to 58 per cent of the Sh370 billion due to the 47 devolved units in the financial year ending June 30, 2023.
In the submission to the Senate County Public Investment and Special Funds committee, Treasury yesterday blamed the delays in the disbursement on shortfall in revenue collection as well as high public debt obligations.
Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u said the devolved units have received a total of Sh244.2 billion, including Sh29.6 billion that had not been sent to the counties for June 2022 arrears.
Ndung'u told Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi-led committee the Treasury disbursed Sh31.45 billion to counties last week, being the January equitable share allocation.
This leaves an outstanding balance of Sh94.35 billion for the months of February, March and April.
The counties are demanding Sh31.45 billion for February, Sh 29.6 billion for March and April Sh33.3 billion for April.
“The delay in disbursement of funds to counties has been occasioned by shortfall in revenue collection as well as high public debt obligations,” CS Ndung'u said.
“However, the National Treasury is mobilising necessary resources to ensure the amount owed to counties is significantly reduced,” he said in a letter.
The CS added that the Treasury is also assisting county governments to enhance their own-source revenue to ensure continuity of services in case of delays in disbursement of equitable share.
However, the panel would hear heard none of the explanation by the CS, saying revenue collection shortfall should not be used as an excuse yet the Kenya Revenue Authority said they have surpassed its targets.
“Why is the CS saying KRA has not been meeting its targets yet the taxman presented data saying they have surpassed their venue target?” Narok Senator Ledama Olekina asked.
“We need to invite both the CS and KRA to know who is telling the truth. We need to know where the money is going to whether it is being diverted to paying to paying public debt or being misused,” he said.
Kiambu Senator Karungo Thang’wa said it is regrettable that counties have only received 58 percent of their equitable share. He said this threatens their operations as most are face grinding to a halt or have accrued debts due to bank overdrafts.
“If there is anything that we must fight for as the Senate it is disbursement of funds. We must ensure timely disbursements by coming up with ways to ensure prompt release of funds,” he said.
Migori Senator Eddy Oketch said they have to stand firm as the Treasury last month also said they did not have money until they stood firm resulting in the release of the January disbursement.
(Edited by V. Graham)