Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has said the government has no money to finance its development projects.
While appearing before the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget Wednesday, the CS also revealed a proposal to slash the billions allocated to counties by between Sh15 billion and Sh17 billion in the next financial year.
He said Kenya is experiencing a shortfall of revenue to the tune of Sh.70 billion.
The CS blamed the country’s dire financial situation on the Kenya Revenue Authority’s failure to hit its targets in the projected revenue collection.
“We have discussed with the KRA on how to catch up by tightening the tax net on the domestic and customs revenue,” Rotich told the committee chaired by Mandera Senator Mohamed Maalim Mahamud.
Rotich further claimed the shortfall in revenue collection as projected in March last year when the budget was read early last year to pave the way for the August 8 general elections, is because of the prolonged electioneering period and the drought in the country.
In the proposal to slash County funding, the allocation could reduce to Sh285 billion from the current Sh302 billion
He added: “We need to discuss with you (senators) and governors that the figure we put on the table is not feasible based on the challenges that I have explained.”
However, Senators Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni) and Rose Nyamunga (nominated) questioned the move to slash the counties allocation saying it may affect ongoing projects in the counties.
“Just tell us that the government is broke! Otherwise, this thing you are telling us about reduction of the counties allocation is something that we can’t sell. It is impossible to do that midway through another budget making process,” Kilonzo said.
The CS, however, noted that Treasury had already disbursed Ksh.134 billion to counties, an amount he said represented 43% of the monies supposed to be disbursed.