Inside Politics

PBO query allocations for Trade

Friday, May 21st, 2021 00:00 |
National Treasury. Photo/File

The Parliamentary Budget office (PBO) has challenged the government to support exporters by adopting a responsive trade approach geared towards enhancing exports.

According to PBO, the State Department for Trade should  also provide a comprehensive reconcilable list of all projects it plans to initiate in the next financial year.

The list should detail total contract sum, date of commencement, expected date of completion and the total cost incurred to date.

In a report sent to the ministry, the office also wants the department to outline priority areas for the next financial year  indicating key outputs within the proposed estimates.

This after the National Treasury submitted estimates for financial year 2021/22 proposing that the department be allocated Sh3.3 billion of which Sh2.1 billion is for recurrent expenditure and Sh1.2 billion is for development expenditure.

Budget policy statement

The proposed allocation represents an increase of Sh172 million from the Budget Polict Statement (BPS) approved ceiling of Sh 3.1billion.

“Noting that there is an allocation under the capital expenditure for the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority under the State Department of Industrialization while the Executive Order No. 1 of 2020 places it under the State Department of Trade and Enterprise Development, what is the view of the State Department in regard to this?” reads the statement

PBO also wants the department to give details on the impact of the postings of trade attaches in terms of increasing and deepening export share in various destinations after it emerged that there is a proposal to allocate resources to 21 foreign missions.

The budget office insists the department must state the share in each of all destinations it intends to post attaches, as well as explain the tangible proposals they have put in place to improve export share in all the export markets.

Posting Attaches

Further, the office wants the State Department to consider establishing logistics centres abroad as is the case with Turkey and New Zealand rather than posting attaches in the foreign missions that have low economic or trade value, with a view to facilitate exporters access to target markets

“Is there a government strategic policy direction to create a nexus between domestic production, strengthening investments as well as more-value addition and boosting exports. What are the details of the framework?” reads the brief in part.

On free trade agreement negotiations, the office wants the department to provide the office with the status and details of agreement with United States of America, the status implementation of the Kenya –UK Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The office also wanted to know whether there are proposals to sign free trade pacts in the next financial year.

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