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Economy

House frees Sh1.3bn after slashing commission budgets

Members of the National Assembly in the debating chambers. FILE
Kenya's Members of the National Assembly in the debating chambers. FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Parliament has slashed the budgets of 10 constitutional commissions, freeing Sh1.3 billion for use in higher priority areas. The cuts largely target hospitality supplies, foreign travel, printing and advertisements.

“In order for the government to maintain the cost of administration at lower levels, it is recommended that the allocations for all commissions, excluding the Judiciary Service Commission and the Parliamentary Service Commission whose budget is already adjusted, be reduced by 15 per cent. This will create savings amounting to Sh1.3 billion,” said the committee in its report tabled in Parliament last week.

The Budget and Appropriations committee said it effected a 30 per cent cut on the items across all agencies of the national government.

The cuts are notable because the lawmakers had vowed to hit back at the commissions after they fiercely stood by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission when it slashed MPs pay from Sh851,000 to Sh532,500.

Committee chairman Mutava Musyimi said the cuts were meant to bring down the cost of maintaining administrative institutions and units. The committee said government agencies had allocated huge sums of money in none core areas in total disregard of austerity measures.

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The committee further reduced the allocation for the Parliamentary Service Commission from Sh24.5 billion to Sh19 billion, saying the amount would be enough to cater for the expanded Parliament, including the provision of offices for MPs and other expenses.

It retained the Judiciary budget at Sh16.1 billion to allow for construction of courts in the counties. It effected other cuts in the allocations for human resource reforms from Sh3 billion to Sh1.5 billion.

Another Sh9.1 billion was saved by denying Treasury money for renovation and construction of a bridge connecting to Bima House, removing Sh4 billion proposed for constitutional reforms and rejecting Sh3.3 billion for irrigation and green houses in schools among others.

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