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Treasury Acts After Governors Threaten Suit
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|Treasury Acts After Governors Threaten Suit by Kenyans247(1): Fri 15, January, 2021 09:03am|
The National Treasury has released funds to counties a day after governors threatened to move to court.
In a statement released on Thursday, January 14, 2021, Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani shed light on the delay citing economic adversities due to the Covid-19 pandemic as a key reason.
"The National Treasury and Planning wishes to confirm that it has so far transferred a total of Ksh133 billion to county governments for the Financial Year 2020/21," Yatani stated.The CS stated that of the total transfers, Ksh120.2 billion was disbursed as part of the Equitable Share due to county governments and Ksh13 billion as Conditional Grants.
In the statement, Yatani noted that the National treasury is behind on disbursement of funds to the counties by two months.
"Nonetheless, the National Treasury notes that as at January 13, 2021, the balance of county governments at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) stands at Ksh34.6 billion and appeal to them to make the full use of these funds in the meantime, as further disbursements from the exchequer are made in due course," Yatani stated.
He assured that with the scrapping of the Covid-19 tax reliefs and the National Treasury expecting an improvement in revenue collection from the current quarter, he will prioritise the disbursement of funds to county governments to clear the arrears.
The move by Yatani comes after governors accused the National Treasury of frustrating the administration of counties by withholding funds.
In a letter addressed to the Treasury on January 11, the governors threatened to shut down operations in the devolved units and send employees home to end their sufferings.
“Please note that if the disbursement is not made forthwith, the county governments will have no option other than to seek legal redress while closing down to minimize further damage and suffering to employees," the letter read in part.
Council of Governors Chairperson Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, stated that counties had not received disbursements from the Treasury for up to five months.
“We note with utmost concern that County Governments have not received disbursements for October, November, December 2020 and January 2021,” Oparanya stated.
The governors had argued that the delay in disbursement of funds was hindering service delivery, especially when the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic and the striking health workers' crisis.
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