Public hearing set to assist in budgeting

Treasury CS Henry Rotich
Treasury CS Henry Rotich

The Ministry of National Treasury has unveiled public hearings on sector proposals for the 2017/2018 budget. The event that was dubbed Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) saw the attendance of the CS National Treasury, Henry Rotich, PS National Treasury Dr. Kamau Thugge and CS Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Mr. Mwangi Kiunjuri and was held at the KICC, Nairobi.

The public hearing is expected to run for the next three days and all stakeholders are expected to give their input as to what should be included or excluded from the budget. The exercise will involve participation, interrogation, and implementation of issues raised.

CS Mwangi Kiunjuri stated that the event will be critical in the allocation of resources and in the implementation of economic policies. He also mentioned economic transformation, access to free healthcare as a development plan that will be enriched if considered in the budget.

CS Henry Rotich emphasized on proper management of resources, debts, and expenditure on both the national and county levels of government. The budget aims at the prioritizing creation of employment and security issues. The budget will make products and services affordable to everyone as well as provide for areas which seem to be scarce.

He said, “Hard choices have to be made.”

This public hearing comes after the government announced the growth of the economy from 5.9% to 6.2% despite the turbulent economic environment. The growth has so far been attributed to the rise of the tourism sector which currently stands at 12.1%, growth in the agricultural sector, horticulture and stabilization of currency which is currently at 1.0%.

The National Treasury aims at building a budget that will sustain GDP rate and improve it to double digits, create a conducive environment for businesses so as to attract investors as well as focus on vision 2030.

Although the budget is being prepared against the background of a global slowdown following the aftermath  of the U.K referendum to exit E.U (Brexit),the budget  2017/2018 is expected to cost 2.4 trillion and out of this 1.7 trillion is expected to go to expenditure. All ministries will be required to share an estimated amount of 260.6 billion. Despite the high figure, the PS Dr.Kamau Thugge indicated that the Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) indicates that Kenya’s external debt is sustainable.

The counties were urged to not only overly on the National Government for funds but to also raise their own revenue at the county level as this will reduce the dependency. Continued uncertainty in the global market and uneven and sluggish growth were mentioned as some of the challenges likely to affect the budget.