The Embu County Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee (CABAC) has urged area residents to faithfully remit revenue to the county government to fast track successful implementation of development projects.
During a public participation forum on the 2019/2020 Financial Year’s budget at Makima shopping centre, CABAC Chairman, Harrison Mwaluko revealed that some residents were reluctant to remit the levies that the County Government depends on to fund its annual budget.
“The County has huge pending bills and cannot recruit additional personnel for essential services because of revenue shortfalls every year,” Mwaluko observed.
Mwaluko who is Mwea MCA pointed out that the county was intending to collect Ksh.470 Million from local sources and Ksh.350 Million in departmental Appropriation in Aid (A-in-A), bringing the total projected revenue collection to sh.820 million.
“Failure by the county to collect the projected revenue as spelt out in the County’s Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) would starve the budget of the much-needed funds to finance development projects at the grassroots,” Mwaluko added.
He observed that several projects had stalled in the past after the County Government missed its revenue targets and ran out of cash.
Mwaluko further observed that failure to remit revenue was hindering efforts to empower local contractors because fund to pay for the work done by these entrepreneurs was often not available.
He nonetheless, acknowledged that the county had an obligation to pay its debts and pledged to ensure, through his committee, that every supplier owed by the county is paid.
Mwaluko said the County Executive was cash strapped and had been advised by the County not to recruit any more staff to keep recurrent expenditure at the recommended 70 percent and development expenditure at 30 percent of the total county resource basket.
The County Assembly has been holding public participation sittings with residents of various wards in a bid to collect views on their preferred priority projects to be incorporated in the county budget for the 2019/2020 fiscal period.
By Kimani Tirus