Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has assured governors of the government’s commitment to ensure faster disbursement of pending financial allocations.
The DP said the government is keen on ensuring counties receive funds on time for them to operate effectively.
Speaking on Monday after chairing the 20th Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) at the DP’s official residence in Karen, Nairobi, Mr Gachagua said the hurdles the National Treasury had faced are being addressed and soon all the pending allocations will be distributed.
“We have explained to the governors the strain the National Treasury has been undergoing and given them the commitment to clear the unsettled allocations for April and May before the end of the financial year,” he said.
The DP said the Kenya Kwanza administration has made a conscious decision not to borrow money to pay salaries opting for locally collected taxes for the purpose.
“We will not borrow money for recurrent expenditure. We have a Sh10 trillion debt we are paying and we are not going to incur more to pay salaries,” stated the DP.
Mr Gachagua said the National Treasury will work on the allocation for June saying the target is to clear before the end of the financial year.
The DP also said the session resolved to explore leasing out of government-owned sugar factories instead of privatization following consultations with the respective counties.
“The locals prefer the leasing model and it is an option we will be looking into going forward,” the DP said.
The governors also agreed to ascertain the validity of the pending bills in the next two weeks before paying them.
“An additional week will be designated for engagement and negotiation between the counties and the Controller (COB) to reach a mutual agreement on pertinent issues that might arise during validation,” said the DP.
The governors said most of the bills cannot be accounted for and will not allocate money until supporting documents are supplied.
The Session also looked into the Equalization Fund Appropriation Bill, 2023 which is before Parliament for possible review to ensure all deserving counties are included.
“The Equalization Fund Board and the Commission on Revenue Allocation will meet to undertake a holistic approach on the manner in which marginalised counties were identified to ensure fairness and equity in allocation of funds,” said the DP.