Written by West FM
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The preparations for the 2012-2013 National Budget estimates are underway in earnest. The 2012 -2013 National Budget will be the last Budget the Kibaki-Raila Grand Coalition will present to Parliament and also fully oversee its implementation and execution.
The 2012 -2013 National Budget will be unveiled by the Grand Coalition Government in June 2012 but its implementation will spill-over to the new Government that will come to power after the 2012 General Elections Constitutionally slated for August 2012.
West Fm states that the 2012-2013 is the second National Budget to be prepared and presented to the National Assembly within the framework of Kenya’s New Constitution.
West Fm notes that Chapter 12 of the Constitution dealing with Public Finance stipulates the new ways public finances are to be managed. For example there are now Constitutional principles to guide all aspects of public finance in the Republic of Kenya and being the principles: Of openness and accountability and public participation in financial matters; The public finance system shall promote an equitable society; That the burdens and benefits of the use of resources and public borrowing shall be shared equitably between present and future generations; That public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way and that financial management shall be responsible and fiscal reporting shall be clear
West Fm states the Constitution at Article 202 further states that revenue raised nationally shall be shared equitably. The Constitution further at Article 204 establishes an Equalization Fund which shall receive 1.5% of all revenue collected by the National Government to provide basic services including water, roads, health facilities and electricity to marginalized areas to the extent necessary to bring the quality of those services in those areas to the level generally enjoyed by the rest of the Nation as far as possible.
West Fm proclaims that the high sounding, noble provisions of the Constitution will remain a dead letter and wishful dreams for the people of Western Kenya and North Rift unless and until the region’s elected leaders lobby and present the region’s developmental needs, agenda and more so on infrastructure with all the Government line Ministries for their inclusion in the National Budgetary estimates. Whether any new tarmac roads, new hospitals, new water projects, new educational institutions and other new infrastructure projects or rehabilitation of old ones will take place in the coming financial year of June 2012 to June 2013 will depend on presentations and lobbying made by the region to the Treasury through the line Ministries.
West Fm states that it is the height irresponsibility and naivety for Western Kenya and North Rift to imagine that public servants in the region or those at the various Ministries headquarters at Nairobi will be magnanimous enough or be Guardian Angels to just channel infrastructural creating resources to Western Kenya and North Rift.
West Fm states that it is incumbent on the elected leadership of the region and all other stakeholders of the region including the intelligentsia to put forward to all the line Ministries in Government and Treasury the priority development projects especially on infrastructure that ought to be considered and factored for funding in the budgetary estimates of 2012-2013. It can only be Westerners and North Rifters to agitate for the key projects on infrastructure that the Grand Coalition Government ought to factor in the budgetary preparations that are underway.
West Fm notes that Article 221 of the Constitution provides that at least two months before the end of each financial year the Cabinet Secretary (read Minister of Finance) responsible for finance shall submit to the National Assembly estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the National Government for the next financial year to be tabled in the National Assembly. In the present scenario by April 2012 the Budgetary estimates will be laid in Parliament and it will be too late for Western Kenya and North Rift to start crying how they have been short changed.
West Fm reiterates that this is the opportune time for the elected leaders of Western Kenya and North Rift to make presentations to the Line Ministries and Treasury on the key developmental projects that require to be factored in the allocation of budgetary development votes for the next financial year for the regions.
West Fm states that Western Kenya and North Rift must systematically, methodically and with clarity put its own Agenda of demanding and lobbying for its rightful entitlements from the National Budgetary allocations and emerge from the years of being “a footnote”, an afterthought in the scramble for and distribution of National Budgetary Resources.
Well, nobody else whether public servants, the Prime Minister or the President owes the region a duty to execute the regions basic housekeeping issues which rightfully, properly, fundamentally belongs to the elected leadership’s docket. And the people of the region must compel the elected leadership to discharge meticulously this most important duty of the making of the National Budget as that is where the so called “National Cake” is symbolically distributed.
If Western Kenya and North Rift is aloof and unconcerned the regions share of the national budgetary resources will surely go somewhere else as the resources are scarce.
WEST FM EDITORIAL©2012
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