The National Treasury has tabled the first supplementary budget to the National Assembly with a raft of new allocations and reallocations, with the Hustler Fund getting some Ksh.12 billion.
Treasury however appears to fall short in actualizing government austerity measures which have seen Ksh.106 billion deducted from development spending only to reallocate Ksh.92.2 billion of the funds to recurrent expenditure leaving the government with savings of only Ksh.13.3 billion.
In the first supplementary budget to parliament by Treasury boss Prof. Njuguna Ndungu the State Department of Cooperatives has seen its allocation increase from Ksh 2.3 billion to Ksh.22 billion with Ksh.12 billion set aside for President William Ruto’s election pledge project the Hustler Fund.
Outlining the reasons for the allocations, Prof. Ndungu stated that the decisions were reached due to emerging priorities and emergencies including the drought that has hit the country which has seen the State Department for Arid and Semi-arid Lands get an additional Ksh.6.3 billion from Ksh.10.4 billion to Ksh.16.7 billion.
Some ministries that have seen their budgets cut include State Department for Interior and Citizen Services. Their allocation has been reduced from Ksh.143.5 billion to Ksh.112.1 billion, a Ksh.31 billion reduction. On the chopping block too is the Ministry of Water and Sanitation whose allocation will be cut from the Ksh. 83.9 billion to Ksh.59.7 billion.
The Ksh.13 .3 billion in ministerial deductions is a far cry from what was promised by President William Ruto who vowed to cut down on recurrent expenditure by Ksh .300 billion to be plowed back into the development budget.
Even with the budget cuts, the National Treasury has allocated State House Ksh.200 million in the supplementary budget for operations and maintenance while the office of the deputy president has been given Ksh.45 million for the implementation of planned activities.
Prof. Ndungu explained that the rationale behind the supplementary budget waste is to give additional funding for emerging priorities and emergencies, fund previously approved reallocations, and rationalization the budget to align the revised reorganization of government under executive order No 1 of 2023.
Further, the National Treasury says government will continue carrying out tax reforms by modernizing and simplifying tax laws to improve the tax revenue base.