The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Henry Rotich has urged counties to use at least 30 per cent of their budget allocations from the National Government on development as per the 2012 Public Finance Management Act (PFMR Act).
The CS who was speaking during the official opening of Public Sector Hearings for the FY2017/18 and the Medium-Term Budget at Kenya International Convention Centre, recently, said the maximum amount of money to be used to pay salaries should not exceed 35 per cent of the same.
Mr Rotich also called for better utilisation of funds and prioritisation of development since “budget resources are scarce compared to public demands and expectations. “For us to meet those demands and maintain macroeconomic stability, hard choices have to be made on where to allocate the scarce resources,” he noted.
He called on all Kenyans to put in more emphasis and seriousness in giving their inputs as it is important to highlight key areas that require greater attention from all Kenyans. He said that the government is keen in ensuring that “the budget is not only affordable but the resources are allocated to the most important economic and social policy priorities that achieve value for money.”
“The shrinking of global economic performances leads to a general unemployment of the young generation which then leads to a general insecurity in the country,” said Mr Rotich.
He said that some of these challenges facing the country are not only unique to Kenya but also to other countries but the government is committed in addressing them by initiating and running priority programme that would nurture and increase key programme performance in reducing hardships experienced by most Kenyans.
The CS said that although the resources are scarce against the general demands and expectations the country must make hard choices on where to allocate these limited resources by engaging public participation and adding their input to the budget preparation.
Although many countries have been adversely affected by uncertainty due to Brexit, the shilling remains strong and resilient against major currencies, Mr Rotich said. He further said that although unfavorable global economic environment due to the current state of economic and social challenges still exists, Kenyan lives have significantly improved as a result of increased access to social services, universal basic education, and a general increase in education enrolments within the country.
Mr Rotich explained that life expectancy has increased from 61 years in 2013 to about 64 years in 2014, while at the same time child mortality rate has declined; there is also the provision of social grants for the aged, orphans and the disabled and the increased improvement of infrastructure facilities countrywide.
He said that to avoid and minimise poor implementation of the budget like in the past, the government has put in a framework for monitoring and evaluation measures in order to improve implementation. Those who attended the Public Sector Hearings included; Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Development Partners, Civil Societies, Civil Servants among others.