The County Government of Tana River has for the second year running allocated only a third of its total revenues to development programmes.
Out of the Sh6.717 billion expected to be spent during the 2019/2020 financial year that begins on July 1, the Maj (rtd) Dhadho Godhana-led administration has allocated Sh2.239 billion to development programmes and Sh4.478 billion for recurrent expenditure.
The greatest gobblers of county revenues under recurrent expenditure will be operations and maintenance, which are expected to cost Sh2,522,742,513, or 38 percent of the revenue, and salaries and remunerations which will cost the tax payer an estimated Sh1,955,936,993 (29 percent).
The County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Finance and Planning, Mr. Matthew Babwoya, says in the budget estimates for 2019/2020 that the county expects to receive Sh6.378 billion in the financial year.
This, he says, comprises Sh5.287 billion equitable share of revenue raised and Sh831.8 million worth of conditional allocations from the national government and development partners and Sh66 million from its own sources of revenue (OSR).
Mr. Babwoya says the county expects to have a balance of Sh333 million brought forward from the financial year 2018/2019, bringing the total budget estimates to Sh6.717 billion.
“The total recurrent expenditure for the financial year 2019/2020 accounts for Sh4,478,679,506 which constitutes 67 percent of the total budget,” he says in a forward to the financial estimates, which are now at public participation stage.
“Compensation to employees accounts for Sh1,955,936,993 of the total expenditure translating to 29 percent while operation and maintenance expenditure accounts for Sh2,522,742,513 translating to 38 percent of the county total expenditure.”
Mr. Babwoya said the estimates had complied with 2019 County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP), the 2019/2010 Annual Development Plan (ADP) and the 2018-2022 County Integrated Development Plan to ensure there is consistency between county plans, policies and budgets.
Tana River is considered to be among Kenyan counties that have suffered marginalization since independence and it was expected that more resources would be allocated to development programmes.
Mr. Babwoya has however defended the allocations, saying they are within fiscal responsibility principles which provide for at least 31 percent of the total estimates to go to development expenditure.
“The expenditure estimates have complied with fiscal responsibility principles where at least 33 percent of the total expenditure was voted for development while the county wage bill stands at 29 percent to total expenditure,” he said.
By Emmanuel Masha