Education, national security and the Big Four agenda are among the biggest winners in National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani’s budget for the next financial year that starts on July 1.
In a move to hasten President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy agenda before the end of his second term next year, Yatani has increased the allocation to drivers and enablers projects of the Big Four—food security, Universal Health Care, manufacturing and affordable housing, by Sh13.8 billion.
This takes the total allocation to Sh142.1 billion from Sh128.3 billion in the current financial year ending June 30.
This, as the health sector gets a Sh121.1 billion budget up from Sh111.7 billion in the current financial year with the affordable housing programme getting an allocation of Sh13.9 billion.
Some Sh47.7 billion of the health budget will go towards providing universal health coverage which according to Yatani, will “guarantee quality and affordable health care for all Kenyans.”
Sh60 billion will go towards food security with improving livestock production, fighting desert locusts and crop diversification projects being prioritised.
To support growth of industries, Yatani has proposed a Sh20.5 billion allocation, up from Sh18.3 billion in the current financial year, as he spelled out measures to protect local manufacturers from cheap imports, among them duties of up to 25 per cent on finished goods, among them leather products.
“The implementation of “Big Four” agenda remains a high priority and critical to economic recovery. In this regard, the government will fast track implementation of programmes and projects under the “Big Four” agenda,” the CS said when he presented to the nation his Sh3.6 trillion budget, at the National Assembly on Thursday.
Education is however the biggest winner in the next financial year with a total budget of Sh503.9 billion, a Sh6.2 billion increase from Sh497.7 billion in the current financial year.
The country’s security budget has nearly been doubled to Sh294.5 billion from Sh167.9 billion, which Yatani says will go towards supporting operations of the National Police Service, Defence and the National Intelligence Service.
The proposed allocations include Sh119.8 billion for defence, Sh42.5 billion for the National Intelligence Service, Sh110.6 billion for policing and prisons services, Sh10.7 billion for leasing of police motor vehicles and Sh1.0 billion for Police Modernisation Programme.
The government will spend Sh310.7 billion in enhancing infrastructure, one of the biggest beneficiaries in Yatani’s spending plans, with the Jubilee government taking pride in completed and ongoing roads, ports and rail projects.
In the current financial year, it had planned to spend Sh362.7 billion in energy, infrastructure and ICT.
“Our investment in the expansion of road networks, railways, seaports, airports and energy has enhanced domestic and regional connectivity, boosted rural productivity and reduced urban congestion,” Yatani noted.
The energy sector has received an allocation of Sh71.9 billion, Sh11 billion more from Sh60.3 billion.
According to Yatani, expansion in energy generation and connectivity has seen 7.5 million households connected to the national grid, a threefold growth compared to 2.3 million households in 2003.
Meanwhile, counties are looking at a bigger spending plan next financial year as allocation to the devolved units increases to Sh409.9 billion from Sh369.9 billion in Yatani’s current financial year budget.
The huge allocations in the country’s biggest spending plan is expected to be funded by both taxes and borrowing with the Kenya Revenue Authority expected to collect Sh1.78 trillion in ordinary revenues.
Total revenue projections for the financial year, including Appropriations-in-Aid and grants is 2.1 trillion.
Recurrent expenditures will amount to Sh2 trillion or 16.2 per cent of GDP.
On the other hand, development expenditures including foreign financed projects, allocation to Contingencies Fund and conditional transfers to county governments are projected at Sh669.6 billion.
“This funding is expected to accelerate completion of ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the country,” CS Yatani said.
-Edited by SKanyara