Opinion and Analysis
More input needed in revenue allocation plan
Posted Thursday, July 26 2012 at 21:11
The raging debate over allocation of funds under the devolved system of governance is healthy, but let us not lose sight of the ball.
The concept of county governments is new to this country and as anticipated, its implementation is already causing anxiety in several quarters.
A common concern among many is how resources could be equitably distributed across all the 47 counties such that no region lags behind in terms of development.
The country has witnessed past flaws in terms of wealth distribution policies and this could partly explain the scepticism among sections of political leaders and their constituents as well.
This concern is genuine but sobriety must still prevail as the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) juggles with various options to strike a balance and help reverse the effects of past injustices that were mainly driven by corrupt political groups seeking to champion their interests and consolidate power.
The commission has a massive challenge of ensuring equitable growth across parts of the country. This matter is very complex and sensitive and calls for careful selection of the right formula that would see all regions accorded fairness in terms of allocation of development budgets.
All key parameters such as population, fiscal discipline, poverty levels and land mass must be factored exhaustively if fairness is to be realised.
The CRA has already unveiled a formula on how it would distribute funds to the counties, but this could be improved further with input from various quarters.
And even as the commission tightens its revenue sharing formula, public disclosures and sensitisation programmes would be critical in addressing the concerns and anxiety within the public domain.
For instance, the CRA should move to provide a breakdown of the recurrent versus development budgets of each county so that residents and their leaders may get to appreciate efforts of ensuring fairness.
This would help shed light on all grey areas of the whole process and remove politically instigated criticism that could aggravate the already tense situation.
Members of the political class should also exercise caution in their demands and utterances so that the CRA is left to do its work in the best way possible.
Finding the right leaders to manage resources at the counties will also play a key role in promoting growth. Having resources is not enough, prudent management will make the difference in terms of promoting growth.