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Gov’t to cut public debt, expenditure as Budget preparation kicks off

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The budget preparation for the year 2020/21 was launched Thursday giving economic growth and reduction of the government expenditure an edge.

Speaking during the launch at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amb. Ukur Yatani insisted on the importance to have a sustainable public debt and reduce resource wastage.

“Today marks the start of the budget-making process of the year 2020/21.  We have initiated expenditure control towards the next budget and the cuts will be brutal towards public resources waste,” said Yatani.

He further said, “the government will consider the performance of the previous year and we will not allow none-core spending but this should not affect the development agenda for all spending must now be accompanied with supporting documents”.

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“Allow me to reflect on the fiscal performance of the FY 2018/19 budget. The intended performance was below target on account of revenue shortfall to the tune of Sh91 billion and rising expenditure pressures,” explained the CS.

Yatani explained that in order to contain the resultant fiscal gap, they have initiated a number of revenue and expenditure measures in line with our fiscal consolidation plan.

“The expenditure control and policy measures include budget rationalization on non-core expenditures which include foreign and domestic travel, hospitality, training, communication supplies, printing and advertising, purchase of furniture, office and general supplies, use of Government vehicles, and size of government delegation in meetings outside the country. In this regard, the Government will be issuing directives on this matter in due course,” highlighted Yatani.

The CS further directed all accounting officers and sector working groups to work with the available budget as there will be no more funding that would be given.

“The government is not ready to start new projects and if there is any it should be approved by the Cabinet,” the CS said.

CS Yatani added that according to the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts, global growth is projected at 3.2 percent in 2019 with global growth expected to pick up to 3.5percent in 2020.

“We expect the budget deficit of 3.5percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022/23 from a high figure of 7.7percent of GDP that was in 2018/19,” added Yatani.

The National Assembly Chairperson of Budget and Appropriations committee Kimani Ichung’wa highlighted the importance of all projects under the Big 4 agenda to be prioritized saying it was only 11years to Vision 2030.

“Stalled projects have become a menace, Sh.365 billion projects had stalled as per June 2018 and the next budget should highly consider this,” Ichung’wa noted.

Ichungwa reiterated the CS statement of not approving from the National Assembly more funding to accounting officers and the sector working groups highlighting the importance of them giving priority to important projects.

Ministry of National Treasury and Planning Principal Secretary (PS) Julius Muia noted that they would receive budget proposals from stakeholders which would encourage public participation as required by article 232 section 1B of the constitution.

Muia further said in the next budget, the government would put much focus on the Big 4 agenda and Vision 2030 for the resources were limited hence the need to work with the revenue available.





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