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Economy

Yatani faces MPs’ wrath for Sh19bn CDF cash delay

Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani
Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Treasury has come under sharp criticism in Parliament after it failed to release Sh19 billion to National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF), two months after the end of last financial year.

The MPs said the Treasury is holding Sh13.7 billion that had been allocated to CDF in the year to June 2020 and arrears of Sh4.97 billion that is owed to the 290 electoral areas from 2011/12 to 2014/15.

The House has summoned Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani to appear before the Select committee on National Government Constituencies Fund (NG-CDF) next Tuesday to explain why the money meant for development has remained unpaid.

The committee told the House in a status report on the disbursement of the 2019/20 CDF allocation that a total of Sh28 billion had been released to constituencies as at August 4, leaving a balance of Sh13.7 billion.

The Treasury allocated CDF Sh41.7 billion, and each of the 290 constituencies was to receive Sh137 million for development in the year to June 2020.

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The Treasury has since maintained the same budget in the 2020/21 financial year where each constituency will get Sh137,088,879 inclusive of emergency reserve of Sh7.2 million.

The CDF board will retain Sh1.95 billion or 5 per cent of the total CDF budgetary allocation to administer the MPs-led Fund.

In 2014, MPs unanimously voted to increase the minimum amount of money allocated to each of the 290 constituencies to Sh100 million. This effectively raised the share of the funds for 82 electoral areas that were then getting less than this figure.

The NG-CDF Act, 2015 sets aside 2.5 percent of the total revenue raised nationally to be shared among the constituencies.

Wafula Wamunyinyi, who chairs NGCDF committee said 13 constituencies had received full allocation for the year under review while 271 electoral areas got between 50 and 99 per cent of their annual allocation. Six constituencies had received between 39 and 49 per cent of their total annual allocation.

“There is a balance of Sh13.7 billion that the Treasury has not released to CDF for 2019/20. There is a pending receipts of Sh4.97 billion being arrears for 2011/12 to 2014/15 financial years. We have invited the CS to appear before us on Tuesday,” Mr Wamunyinyi told the House.

Official data the bulk of the balances that the Treasury has not remitted to the NG-CDF relates to activities planned for the last financial year.

Data submitted to Parliament by the NG-CDF board in December shows the board did not receive a balance of Sh2.3 billion in 2014/15, Sh2.2 billion in the year 2013/14 and Sh489.3 million in 2011/12.

The regulation 22 of the CDF law provides that the fund will only support activities in respect to national government functions, leaving devolved functions to county governments.

The funding shall be for a complete project or a defined phase and may include acquisition of land and buildings, acquisition of vehicles, machinery and other equipment for the constituency.

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