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Budget allocates Sh451bn for Big Four agenda

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Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Treasury estimates for the year 2019/2020 tabled in Parliament Tuesday show key drivers of the Big Four agenda will receive Sh76.7 billion while enablers will get Sh374.1 billion.
  • The agenda seeks to deliver food security, affordable housing, manufacturing growth and healthcare by the end of President Kenyatta’s term.

The government plans to spend at least Sh450.9 billion to fund President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda in the next financial year, marking a Sh50 billion increase from the present fiscal year.

Treasury estimates for the year 2019/2020 tabled in Parliament Tuesday show key drivers of the Big Four agenda will receive Sh76.7 billion while enablers will get Sh374.1 billion.

The agenda seeks to deliver food security, affordable housing, manufacturing growth and healthcare by the end of President Kenyatta’s term.

“Sh450 billion has been allocated in the FY 2019/2010 Budget to implement the Big Four Agendas under all clusters, both for drivers and enablers,” says the Treasury in the estimates tabled in Parliament yesterday by leader of majority Aden Duale.

Treasury estimates under the four pillars amount to Sh198.4 billion. Breakdown of the remaining Sh252.5 difference was not disclosed.

According to the estimates, manufacturing will be given Sh96.6 billion with key priority areas being support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), industrial research and construction of industrial parks.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is expected to consume Sh47.8 billion, which also includes donor funds.

Treasury has allocated Sh6 billion for scaling up the programme. Currently, the UHC is piloting in Kisumu, Nyeri, Isiolo and Machakos counties.

Other programmes being targeted under health include managed equipment services (Sh6.2 billion), vaccines and immunisations (Sh3.3 billion) and conditional grants to Level Five hospitals (Sh4.3 billion).

The government will pump in another Sh3.2 billion for health cover for the elderly and the severely disabled.

Affordable housing

Affordable housing will receive Sh11.4 billion, with Sh5 billion going towards the national housing development fund.

The allocation comes in the wake of a court injunction on the 1.5 percent housing levy that was supposed to kick in on May 9.

Meanwhile, the food and nutrition pillar will receive Sh42.6 billion, with irrigation programmes receiving Sh7.9 billion.

The cherry coffee revolving fund will get Sh3 billion, the national value chain support programme will get Sh2 billion while miraa projects will receive Sh1 billion.

The additional allocation for President Kenyatta’s priority areas comes at a time their contribution to GDP dropped in the first year of implementation.

The Economic Survey 2019 shows that three of the four sectors directly linked to the ambitious “Big Four” plan registered a drop in contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.

The share of the manufacturing sector shrank to a decades-low of 7.7 percent in 2018 from a revised 8.0 percent a year earlier.

That represents just over half of the targeted 15 percent envisaged under the Big Four plan.