Relief as Yatani releases Sh13 billion CDF money
Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
Members of Parliament last evening had their way after the National Treasury reinstated their arrears amounting to Sh13.7 billion meant for the National Government- Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF).
The legislators agreed to approve the first Supplementary Estimates for the Financial Year 2020/21 after Budget and Appropriation Committee chairperson Kanini Kega assured them that their money is contained in the estimates.
“I want to clarify and reinstate to members that the NG-CDF funds have been factored and are in these estimates. I want to give an undertaking that all the issues, including the arrears will be dealt with,” said Kega.
Their approval came even as the Kanini-led committee reduced the National Treasury proposals as contained in the Supplementary estimates by a whooping Sh44.98 billion.
In the estimates passed by the National Assembly yesterday, Sh19.1 billion was allocated for the recurrent expenditure while Sh61.6 billion was allocated for development expenditure bringing the total figure to Sh80.7 billion yet the National Treasury has requested for a Sh125.68 billion increment.
“That, this House approves an overall increment in the total budget for Financial Year 2020/21 by Sh80,705,236,203.00,” reads a report of the Budget and Appropriation.
Their decision came hours after they had earlier and for the second time declined to approve the Division of Revenue (DOR) Bill as part of their decision to protest the failure by the National Treasury to release NG-CDF money.
The MPs forced Speaker Justin Muturi to defer putting of question on the DOR Bill to allow National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani to disburse the funds to their accounts.
During a Special Sitting called to transact various business, the legislators gave Yattani up to Monday next week to not only ensure that all their monies, including last year’s arrears is wired into their accounts, but also meet them informally to explain why he is not taking members’ demands seriously.
“The motion is, therefore differed until the next sitting day, which will be Tuesday 23. This business will still appear as order number 8.
I hope by this time consultations that are real and meaningful will have taken place,” said Muturi.
Failure to participate in the debate of motion came despite Muturi adjourning the House sittings for 45 minutes to allow members resolve the stalemate.
Lawmakers had last Thursday boycotted a sitting to deny it quorum forcing the leader of Majority Amos Kimunya to drop it
The Treasury has failed to release Sh19 billion to NG-CDF, which has been in arrears in the last two financial years.
Deferment of debate on the Bill came after Igembe North MP and Deputy Majority Whip Maore Maoka rose on a point of order seeking to have the question on the Division of Revenue bill differed to give members more time to deliberate on the matter.
Attempts by Kimunya and Kega to unsuccessfully tried to woo members to pass the motion, saying Treasury had heeded to some of their demands.
The CDF board will retain Sh1.95 billion or 5 per cent of the total CDF budgetary allocation for administration purposes.