President Ruto is expected to meet with governors next week, to end the disagreements over counties’ equitable share revenue.
This summit comes as a ‘saving grace’ after the meeting chaired by deputy President Rigathi Gachagua over the same matter hit a dead end. The council of governors still holds its ground over its proposition to have the equitable share raised to Ksh 425 billion, from its current allocation of Ksh 370 billion for the 2022/2023 financial year.
Deputy President Gachagua, who chairs the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) said that counties should not expect additional funding. This created a lot of scuffles among the governors, with the vice chairperson of the council claiming that the government does not pay mind to the importance of county devolution.
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“We express discontent for the failure by the National Treasury to build consensus on the county equitable share of revenue despite the objective recommendation by CRA,” said the council Vice-Chairperson Ahmed Abdullahi.
“The continued allocation of funds for devolved functions to national government ministries, departments, and agencies is an affront to devolution.” he added.
According to the National Treasury, the current allocation can only be increased to Ksh 380 billion. At the same time, the Commission on Revenue Allocation, (CRA) wants Ksh 407 billion to be allocated to them.
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CRA argues that its recommendation is validated by the country’s economy recovering from the aftermath of the Covid19.
The revenue commission also recommends that Ksh 8.7 billion be set aside for the Equalization Fund for the 2023/2024 financial year, as per the constitution’ article 204 which provides an allocation of 0.5% of the most recently audited and approved accounts.
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CRA has the responsibility of making recommendations based on equitable sharing of revenue raised by both the National and County governments, six months before the beginning of the financial year or at a date agreed upon between itself and the Treasury.
The council of governors says that they hope the summit with the President will help solve the disagreements. This summit is a frontier for Intergovernmental relations and is required by law to take place at least twice a year.