Treasury readies Sh39 billion for counties to avert looming shutdown

The Treasury plans to wire about Kes 39 billion to the counties in a move that is set to help avert a looming shutdown of business at the devolved units.

The financing, which is expected by Friday, this week, will be part of settling the March and April funding arrears to the counties, National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani told Senate Finance and Budget Committee on Tuesday.

Mr Yatani spoke on a day when the Council of Governors raised concern over the continued violation of the law by the Treasury with respect to disbursement of county finances.

In a press note published Tuesday, the COG said the National Treasury is yet to disburse a total of Kes 102.6 billion, two weeks to the close of the current financial year.

Of the amount in arrears, a total of Kes 3.5 billion is owed to Nairobi County as balances for the financial year 2019/2020 as well as a further Kes 4 billion as disbursement for the month of January and February.

Further, a total of Kes 14.4 billion is owed to 25 county governments as disbursements for March while Kes 80.7 billion is owed to all 47 counties as financing for the three months to June, said CoG in a statement.

Read also: MPs get more funds and last say in today’s budget

The Treasury has not only failed to comply with the Constitution but also with its own document–the cash disbursement schedule, 2020, the county bosses noted.

The COG chairperson Governor Martin Wambora (Embu) said key operations such as provision of health services have hugely been affected by the delay in the release of the funds.

While delivering his 2021/2022 budget speech, CS Yatani gave a directive to the county governments to pay up all the pending bills by June 30 so as to keep open the national government financing taps for the next financial year.

At the moment, county governments are facing outstanding bills amounting to Kes 11.5 billion according to record of verified pending bills from the office of Auditor General.

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