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Economy

Rush for more cash ahead of pending bills Jan 15 deadline

More than 20 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) want additional funding to settle bills running into hundred millions
More than 20 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) want additional funding to settle bills running into hundred millions. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

More than 20 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) want additional funding to settle bills running into hundred millions as the January 15 deadline imposed by the Treasury looms.

The bills, which have ballooned to a record Sh4.2 billion, relate to goods and services provided by the private sector, especially the Small and Micro Enterprises (SME).

Official records show the Interior ministry holds the largest pending bills at Sh798,295,691 or 19 percent of the total.

As at the end of 2018/2019 financial year, the office reported Sh4,374,388,263 in pending bills but has paid over Sh3.6 billion over the period to December 18.

The Judiciary and National Land Commission (NLC) have bills amounting to Sh342,111,774 and Sh556,076,733 respectively.

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“The payable pending bills include Sh519 million for staff gratuity, which was not allocated any budget among other items. Accordingly, they have requested additional budget of Sh556 million,” the Treasury said for NLC.

Public Works unsettled bills stand at Sh334,055,534 while Crop Development holds bills of Sh128,274,282 as per submissions made on December 6.

“The department has paid Sh52.2 million and requested access to third and fourth quarter budgets to pay Sh78.2 million and additional budget of Sh42.6 million. The historical bills comprise Sh3.96 billion debts owed to millers and merchants and Sh8.35 billion relating to National Cereals and Produce Board fertliser subsidy programme which have been verified,” the statement said.

Despite this, many businesses will still remain unpaid for long periods due to what the Treasury said was lack of sufficient documents to support services provided.

In the statement dated December 23, the government had Sh58.2 billion pending bills as at June 30, out of which Sh43.2 billion comprise historical bills of more than five years and are being audited. Out of the eligible Sh14.99 billion bills, Sh10.8 billion have been paid in the last three months to December.

The lowest on the list include the Commission of Administrative Justice at Sh314,000, Regional and Northern Corridor Development at Sh328,850 and Shipping and Maritime at Sh640,000.

Devolution, Foreign Affairs, the Treasury, Infrastructure, Transport, Housing, Urban Development and Energy have no pending bills.

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