The National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee has warned that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy projects under Big 4 agenda will not be fully achieved by the end of his reign next year.
The committee is now proposing that due to prevailing economic distress triggered by COVID-19 which has resulted to budgetary constraints, the multi-billion projects under Big 4 be implemented in the Fourth Medium Term Plan that will cover 2022 until 2026.
“This being the final year of implementation for the Big 4 agenda under the current administration, the committee is concerned that the full benefits of the Big 4 agenda will not be achieved by 2022. It is therefore important for the strategies that will be implemented beyond 2022, notably the Fourth Medium Term Plan (MTP4) of the Vision 2030, to include full completion of the programmes/projects under the Big 4 agenda,” the Committee said in its Report on Estimated of Revenue and Expenditure for FY2021/2022.
In the Budget Policy Statement, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani highlighted Big 4 as a pro-growth policy measure expected to sustain job creation under the Kshs. 3.6 trillion spending plans for FY 2021/2022.
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In the current financial year, treasury set aside aside Ksh 128.3 billion for the Big Four Agenda drivers and enablers.
However the agenda which include Manufacturing, Universal Health Coverage, Affordable Housing and Food and Nutrition are likely to suffer allocation given the constraints in revenue collection and debt obligations.
Under Big 4, the government targets to raise manufacturing output to 15% of GDP from the current 8.5% by creating one million jobs, break into top 50 ranking in the World Bank’s Eas of Doing Business global index and attract at least Kshs. 380 billion ($3.8 billion) in Foreign Direct Investments, goals that are now unlikely to be achieved by next year, due to covid disruptions.
The state had also targeted to construct 500,000 housing units by the end of 2022, however according to treasury, only 1,370 housing units at Park Road have been completed ahead of schedule.
25,965 affordable housing units are currently under various stages of implementation in Starehe, Shauri Moyo, Kibera Zone, Mukuru and Meteorological site with investors already identified according to C Yatani.
Through the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC), the government has already raised Kshs. 37 billion to support affordable housing programme.
With coronavirus pandemic piling pressure on the health sector, CS Yatani is expected to announced plans for 100% Universal Healthcare Coverage as envisioned under Big 4.
The government has already rolled out the UHC insurance scheme to cover vulnerable groups.
“The UHC insurance scheme, a one single national scheme will achieve equity and efficiency through effective cross-subsidization across the poor and rich and across the sick and healthy. In addition, a UHC fund has been established to ensure seamless operations of the UHC agenda. The UHC fund regulations are being drafted,” said Treasury.
With locus invasion that has depleted the country’s food reserves, treasury is expected to highlight measures that will see expansion various irrigation schemes, subsidy programmes to farmers as well as reforms that will see attainment of food and nutrition agenda
“Going forward, we expect revenue collection in the FY 2021/22 to spring back buoyed by the improving economic environment, tax policy and revenue administration measures that we have put in place. The enhanced revenue will enable implementation of the “Big Four” Agenda, initiatives under the Economic Stimulus Programme as well as the Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.” added Yatani.