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Economy

MPs seek Sh7.8bn for mortgage, car loans and mileage

PSC chairman Justin Muturi (left) and secretary Jeremiah Nyegenye during a past event. FILE
PSC chairman Justin Muturi (left) and secretary Jeremiah Nyegenye during a past event. FILE 

Members of Parliament are seeking Sh7.8 billion from the Treasury to finance their mortgage, car loans and mileage schemes.

The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) told the Budget and Appropriations Committee that the Sh1 billion provided for the home loans could only support 50 members.

“The impact of the supplementary budget as proposed by the Treasury will be heavy and negatively affect the implementation of most plans that had been outlined by the commission. The repayment period for the mortgage and car loan continues to shorten and this will have a toll on members,” PSC secretary Jeremiah Nyegenye said.

The committee is scrutinising the reallocation of the June 2013 budget as proposed in the supplementary budget.

The Treasury reallocated the budget following new expenditure demands of Sh121.5 billion. The mini budget is expected to be debated and approved by the House this week.

Each of the 416 MPs is entitled to a Sh20 million mortgage and Sh7 million car loan repayable before the expiry of the five-year term. There are 349 MPs and 67 Senators in the bicameral Parliament.

Mr Samuel Obudo, the director for finance and administration at PSC, said only 205 members (Senators and MPs) have accessed the mortgage loans.

He said the remaining 211 members will require Sh2.5 billion to access the facility in order to buy homes.

“The total amount that was required is Sh4.5 billion but the Treasury only allocated us Sh500 million in the current budget,” he told the committee.

Mr Obudo said PSC will need Sh2.5 billion to cater to the needs of 125 members until the end of the current financial year in June.

“The rest of the money will be factored in the 2014/15 budget because we project that by the start of the new financial year, we will have processed paperwork for the balance of the members (86),” he said.

On the car loan, Mr Obudo said Sh2.9 billion is required for all members.

“We were only given Sh200 million against a request of Sh700 million. Going by the applications that we have received, we can disburse Sh700 million between now and June subject to the availability of funds in the supplementary budget,” Mr Obudo said.

The PSC is seeking Sh600 million for members’ mileage.

Committee chairman Mutava Musyimi told MPs that it was not possible to provide for the Sh7.8 billion in the revised estimates.

“This is a supplementary budget and we must work within this range. It’s impossible to get additional funding from outside this,” Mr Musyimi, the Mbeere South MP, said.

The PSC said committee operations, refurbishment of buildings and payment of rents were other areas that were mostly affected by the reduction of Parliament’s resource requirement of Sh24.5 billion to Sh19 billion.

“Arising from the reduction of the resource ceiling, implementation of the planned activities has become difficult and very challenging,” Mr Nyegenye, who is the clerk of the Senate, said.

He said the bare minimum required to see uninterrupted operations up to the end of the financial year 2013/14 is Sh7.8 billion, comprising Sh6.3 billion for recurrent and Sh1.5 billion for development.

Other areas that the PSC asked for funding are Constituency offices, mileage for National Assembly and Senate, county offices for women representatives and Senators, committees and rents.

PSC vice-chairman Adan Keynan denied claims that the budget discriminated against Senators.

Suba MP John Mbadi had said Sh850 million sought for the National Assembly committees would translate to Sh240, 000 per month per member.

“If you compare it with the Senate’s Sh284 million, each Senator gets S353,000 per member per month. Let us cut other figures drastically such as committee expenses,” Mr Mbadi said. The committee budget largely covers hospitality and travel.

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