MPs approve Sh316 billion county allocation

Parliament at a past function. [PICTURE COURTESY]

The National Assembly has passed the Division of Revenue Bill that will now unlock Sh316 billion to be shared among devolved units.

By passing the Bill, MPs avoided another clash with the Senate over the amount of money to be allocated to the county governments. However, the House, which took an early Easter recess on Tuesday following the Corona virus outbreak, cautioned that this allocation would depend on how the economy reacts to the effects of the pandemic.

MPs warned that if the economy is adversely affected and the set revenue projections not met, the figure could be slashed. The Division of Revenue Bill, which divides allocation between the national and county governments, has remained a contentious issue between the two Houses, often resulting in mediation.

Last year counties were for some months sent on cash crunch and had to be sustained under emergency secondary provisions after the two Houses failed to agree even at the mediation, resulting in loss of the Bill.

Last Thursday Majority Leader Aden Duale asked the House to lower the figure, arguing that revenue collection projections were likely not to be met, as the economy was already doing badly. He said the situation had been worsened by the effects of the coronavirus.

“Counties must rise to the occasion and be prepared for budget cuts, which are not only going to face them but also all other government departments and agencies. There is no need for us to allocate the Sh316 billion when we are well aware that it will not be possible for our economy to sustain this,” argued Duale.