Foreign Affairs, Interior budgets slashed in fresh estimates

The state department of interior and citizen services has been hit hardest as the Treasury adjusted spending and budget deficit projections for the fiscal year ending June 30.

In documents presented to Parliament for consideration, the latest revised spending plan has been projected at Kes3.37 trillion, compared to Kes3.36 trillion in the original budget presented to MPs by former Treasury CS Ukur Yatani in April last year.

In the new order, the state department of interior and citizen services will contend with Kes31.4 billion less after Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u allocated the unit Kes112 billion from an original allocation of Kes143.5 billion.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also see its budget cut by Kes3.6 billion to Kes15.38 billion from Kes19 billion allocated in the April 2022 spending plan.

The state department for vocational and technical training spending plan has been set at Kes22.6 billion, from Kes24.9 billion reflecting a Kes2.2 billion cut.

Also affected by the latest changes is the budget for the state department for university education whose budget has been slashed by Kes1.88 billion to Kes107.9 billion.

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According to the supplementary statement, the National Police Service has received a total of Kes24 billion following President William Ruto’s move to grant the service autonomy by transferring their budget from the Office of the President.

Also gaining massively will be the state department for early learning and basic education which will see its budget increase by Kes17 billion to Kes128.2 billion originally.

Last year, President Ruto set out to tackle Kenya’s deficit which was largely fueled by debt-financed infrastructure spending by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.

In Prof Ndungu’s revised spending plan for the fiscal year 2022/23, Kenya’s deficit is now seen at 5.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), compared with 6.2 percent reported originally.

Further, the treasury has proposed the slashing of the country’s development budget by Kes106.3 billion even as the recurrent spending is expected to go up by Kes92.2 billion.

The supplementary budget, which is yet to get the nod of parliament, projects that net foreign financing will be at 2.7 percent of the GDP from the original 2 percent seen in April last year. Net domestic financing has also been adjusted to 3 percent of the GDP from the 4.2 percent published originally.

In November last year, Prof Ndung’u said that budget cuts would not touch on areas of priority spending such as food security and social safety nets.

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