The Teachers Service Commissions (TSC), State Department for Infrastructure, National Treasury and Ministry of Health are the biggest beneficiaries in the Sh2.03 trillion budget for the executive arm of the government in the 2022-2023 financial year that was passed by MPs last Thursday.
With a Sh846 billion deficit in the Sh3.33 trillion national budget that also includes over Sh409 billion to counties — Sh370 billion in equitable funding and Sh39 billion in conditional grants — the government is already facing an uphill task of raising revenue to finance it.
The public debt stands at Sh8.6 trillion against a debt ceiling of Sh9 trillion adopted in 2019, which means that the government will have to borrow up to Sh400 billion to fill the gap, leaving the Treasury with an unfunded Sh446 billion budget.
It was widely held that the National Assembly would raise the debt ceiling before passing the estimates to allow the government more room to borrow from local and foreign markets to plug the hole.
However, Majority Leader Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri), while acknowledging that the budget deficit and the debt limit present real challenges, said the issue would be dealt with when MPs consider the Appropriations Bill 2022.
“We are aware of the challenges and action has been initiated to sort them out. The fiscal deficit will be addressed before and during debate and processing of the Appropriation Bill 2022,” said Mr Kimunya.
The Appropriation Bill is passed annually to allow the government to spend money as allocated to government ministries, departments and other agencies.
While passing the estimates, MPs were unequivocal that the budget would have to adhere to the debt limit.
Of the approved estimates, Sh2.03 trillion is for the national executive, with the Judiciary getting Sh18.88 billion and Parliament Sh50.22 billion. TSC was allocated the lion’s share at Sh298.37 billion.
That includes Sh297.72 billion in recurrent expenditure and Sh656 million for development. The money will finance teacher resource management (Sh289.97 billion), governance and standards (Sh1.16 billion), and general administration, planning and support services (Sh7.24 billion).
The State Department for Infrastructure was allocated Sh221.29 billion. It includes Sh69.48 billion for recurrent financing and Sh151.82 billion for development.
Defence has Sh131.68 billion for national space management and civil aid. The state department for University Education was allocated Sh109.84 billion for education, research, science, technology and innovation.
The State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education will get Sh110.68 billion that includes primary education (Sh20.28 billion), secondary education (Sh81.41 billion), quality assurance and standards (Sh4.08 billion), and for general administration, planning and support services (Sh4.9 billion).
The National Treasury was allocated Sh174.4 billion, of which Sh53.85 billion is for recurrent financing and Sh120.55 billion for development.
Under the Treasury, rail transport has been allocated Sh31.93 billion, maritime transport (Sh3.12 billion), general administration, planning and support services (Sh59.22 billion), public financial management (Sh68.96 billion), economic and financial policy formulation and management (Sh10.76 billion), market competition (Sh332.1 million), and government clearing services (Sh74.82 million).
The State Department for Planning, which is also under the Treasury, was allocated Sh49.08 billion to finance economic policy and national planning, national statistical information services, public investment management monitoring and evaluation services, and general administration planning and support services.
The Ministry of Health will get Sh122.52 billion, which includes Sh68.5 billion in recurrent expenditure and Sh54.01 billion for development.