CRA raises counties’ budget for 2017/18 by Sh63bn

Commission on Revenue Allocation chairman Micah Cheserem. PHOTO | FILE
Commission on Revenue Allocation chairman Micah Cheserem. PHOTO | FILE 

County governments will receive an additional Sh63 billion to buy hospital supplies, build and equip libraries and set up headquarters next year if the Treasury accepts recommendations by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

The CRA has proposed that Sh367.5 billion be given to counties in the 2017/18 financial year.

The counties will share Sh304 billion this year, according to the Treasury, a figure governors have termed as too little. The county bosses had asked for Sh486 billion.

CRA, the body responsible for determining the formula for sharing revenues between the national and county governments, had proposed Sh298.3 billion to be given to counties this year.

The health docket will be the biggest beneficiary of the additional allocation in an attempt to shore up rickety public hospitals which lack drugs, equipment and other supplies.

Based on CRA numbers, the health docket will receive an additional Sh25.2 billion, which includes Sh5 billion for constructing two cancer referral hospitals and Sh1 billion for buying cancer drugs.

Cancer is the third leading killer disease in Kenya after malaria and pneumonia, according to official data.

“The new grants include Sh5 billion for two regional cancer referral centres, Sh1 billion for establishment of a national cancer drugs access programme, Sh400 million for constructing and equipping libraries,” Mr Micah Cheserem, the CRA chairman said.

“Others are Sh1 billion for construction of five county headquarters in Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua, Isiolo, Lamu and Tana River as well as Sh1.5 billion for rehabilitation of village polytechnics.”

The recommendations will have to be approved by Parliament. CRA’s proposal to fund the building of county headquarters this year was however scrapped by the Treasury.  

“In making this recommendation, the commission has used allocations to county governments for financial year 2016/17 of Sh280 billion as the base. The base has been increased by Sh42 billion using a three-year revenue growth rate of 15.18 per cent. The financial years considered are 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16,” says Mr Cheserem in the letter.

“The commission also considered provisions of Article 187 in recommending additional allocation for construction of county roads,” he adds.

The roads docket will get an additional Sh17.5 billion, up from last year’s recommended allocation of Sh44.2 billion.

The nursery schools budget has also been raised to Sh4.5 billion from last year’s Sh2.6 billion.

In the letter copied to clerks of the Senate, the National Assembly, the Cabinet secretary National Treasury, clerks of county assemblies and county governors, the CRA has also increased allocations for level five hospitals, free maternity and leasing of medical equipment.

Also increased is the roads fuel levy fund and the grant for emergency medical services. These new grants total Sh27 billion, up from Sh18 billion recommended this year.