3 January 2013

Kenya: Human Rights Body Allocated Sh500 in Supplementary Budget

THE Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission has been allocated a meager Sh500 for recurrent expenditures in the just released supplementary estimates for the year ended June 30, 2013.

The commission that will succeed the current National Human Rights Commission has been allocated the Sh500 for salaries and expenses including general administration and planning, operations, training and expenditure related to liaison services.

It was not however immediately clear how this decision was made or whether this is a typographical error as published in the estimates given to Members of Parliament yesterday.

But as a boost to efforts towards the county governments, more that Sh3.2 billion has been allocated to the Transition Authority in the supplementary budget to be used to set up the agency's headquarters.

The authority, mandated to guide the transition to the devolved system of government, has been allocated the amount in the just released supplementary estimates for the year ending June 30, 2015.

The authority has been allocated a further Sh650 million to cater for its recurrent needs including salaries and general administrative expenses.

On general terms, most of the money for recurrent expenditure purposes will go to payments of increased wage bill for teachers, lecturers and medical service providers.

The figures tabled by Finance Minister Njeru Githae show that out of the Sh50.7 billion for recurrent expenditure, 17.7 billion shillings will go to Teachers Service Commission, Sh5.6 billion to the ministry of defence Sh4.8 billion to the ministry of higher education, science and technology. The ministry of medical services will get Sh2.68 billion.

Sections of employees from those ministries have been agitating for higher pay, with some going on strike at various times this year.

Beside the ministry of defense for which the minister is seeking Sh5.6 billion and the independent and boundaries commission 6.6 billion, the education and health sector will get the highest allocation.

The cabinet had approved Sh73.2 billion as supplementary budget to fund Government operations, but Githae cut it down to a total of 58.8 billion for both recurrent and development expenditure in his estimates tabled before the house.

This came after Parliament's Budget Committee complained that newly created 47 counties would be cash-strapped and Government operations may be affected should Parliament be dissolved before dealing with crucial fiscal documents. Legislators had argued accused Finance Minister Njeru Githae deliberately delaying the crucial documents.

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