Hon. Members, clearly, we are short of the requisite quorum. I, therefore, order the bell to be rung for 10 minutes.
Hon. Members, 10 minutes are over. We are just short of four Members. So, the Whips can have an extra five minutes. I actually see one Member coming. So, three more Members because we have confirmed that there are 12 Members in the other holding area. So, three more Members and then we will be starting our business. We have the required quorum now. Business will start.
On that particular Order, we have the Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House today:
Annual Report of the Capital Market Authority for the Financial Year 2019/2020;
Annual Corporate Report of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Financial Year 2019/2020;
Report of the Auditor-General for the National Government for the Financial Year 2019/2020;
The Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of the following institutions for the year ended 30th June 2020 and the certificates therein:
The State Department for Planning;
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;
The State Department for Information, Communication, Technology and Innovation; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The State Department for Sports;
Revenue Statements for the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning;
The State Department for Industrialization; The African Union and other International Organizations Subscription Fund;
Kipchabo Tea Factory;
State Officers and Public Officers Motor Car Loans Scheme Fund;
Ministry of Water and Sanitation; State Department of Tourism;
The State Department for Shipping and Maritime; National Government Constituencies Development Fund Central Bank of Kenya Account;
The Parliamentary Catering Fund; Business Registration Service - Official Receiver;
Revenue Statements (Recurrent) of the National Treasury; The National Treasury;
Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Limited; Office of the Controller of Budget; State Department for Vocation and Technical Training;
Consolidated Fund Services - Subscriptions to International Organizations; Veterinary Services Development Fund;
State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue Economy;
Revenue Statement for the State Law Office and the Department of Justice; The State Department for Crop Development;
COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund; The State Department for Interior; State Department for Petroleum; National Land Commission; and,
The Petroleum Training Levy Fund.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Very well. We will go to the next Order.
On this particular Order, we will start with the Member for Luanda, Hon. Omulele.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I rise to ask Question No.181/2021 to the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Sports, Culture and Heritage: The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(i) Could the CS provide the status of the account of the funds collected under the Sports Fund established under the Sports Act, 2013? (ii) Could the CS also give an account of the funds that the National Sports Fund Board has spent and, in particular, in the establishment and construction of new sports stadia and sports academies in the country? (iii)Could the CS explain whether the Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Fund Board is qualified, duly gazetted and authorised to execute the mandate of the Board as stipulated in the Sports Act, 2013?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Very well. That Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism. The Member for Loima, Hon. Lomorukai, has requested that his Question be deferred.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to ask Question No.151 of 2021. It is directed to the CS for Interior and Coordination of National Government. (i) What urgent and long-term steps is the Ministry taking to ensure that mandatory Government services provided by authorities such as the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the National Council for Persons Living with Disabilities (PWD) assessment offices are brought closer and within reach of residents of Tharaka-Nithi County who travel for long distances to seek the said services as they are not available in the county? (ii) Could the CS give an undertaking that such services, alongside other Government services, will be made available within Tharaka-Nithi County?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
That Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. Next is the Member for Kwanza, Hon. Wanyonyi.
Kwanza, FORD-K): Hon. Deputy Speaker, I have just come in. Can I ask the Question later? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
What is the problem, Hon. Wanyonyi? You are a seasoned Member. Do you have the Order Paper?
You can be helped to have it. There is nothing to prepare in this Question. It is a straightforward one. Proceed and ask the Question. The norm now is that you put on your mask. I know how uncomfortable it is but it is more uncomfortable to be in a ventilator.
My Question is directed to the CS for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works: (i) Could the CS provide the status of the expansion and reconstruction works at Kitale Airstrip? (ii) Could the CS indicate when the airstrip is expected to be completed and made operational to facilitate transport for the many users from North Rift and Western Region who use that facility?
Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
That one will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. Next is Hon. Kingi, but I see Hon. Keter is here. So, let us go to Hon. Kingi as we try to locate where you are sitting.
Proceed, Hon. Kingi.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to ask Question No.170/2021 to the Cabinet Secretary for Energy. (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide a list of all projects funded through the Rural Electrification Authority in Magarini Sub-County from 2017 to date? (ii) Are there plans to connect electricity to Galana Teachers Training College, Waresa Technical College, Kambicha Primary and other government institutions in Magarini Sub-County taking into account the many requests which have been made to the Ministry since 2018? (iii) What measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that learning institutions, market centres and villages which are yet to have electricity in Magarini Constituency are connected soonest?
That one will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy. Next is the Member for North Imenti, Hon. Dawood Abdul.
CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTION BY NATIONAL TRANSPORT AND SAFETY AUTHORITY The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to ask Question No.174/2021. It is directed wrongly to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public works. I will just read it then I will ask for your guidance. (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the criteria intended to be applied by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to conduct vehicle inspection exercises in the country following the recent circular which affected Section 16 (2) of the Traffic Act requiring all vehicles above four years to be inspected? (ii) Could the Cabinet provide the total number of vehicles expected to undergo inspection in the country and stipulate the measures the Ministry has put in place to ensure order during the inspection exercise? (iii) Could the Cabinet Secretary also explain how owners of motor vehicles will access the inspection units and provide details of the approved inspection units, their working hours, booking criterion, the number of vehicles to be inspected per day, and charges, if any? Hon. Deputy Speaker, this Question ordinarily should be directed to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security because the budget of the NTSA is under the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, but the operationalization is under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. As my sister from Tharaka, Hon. Beatrice has asked, the NTSA is under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. I want your guidance on whether the Question will go to the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing or to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
This ordinarily, as you have put it clearly, is supposed to be the vote of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing which you actually sit in. I do not know whether the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security is in the House. I do not see him. What is it again? I thought you have made your case and I am trying to rule on it.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am in the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing and we tried to tackle this matter while the NTSA was in the Committee coming for the budget, but we were told that it was not under us.
So, it is referred to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. Now let us go to the Member for Kaiti. He has made a request that the Question be deferred and I proceed to defer that particular Question. Hon. Manje has also made a similar request which I accept.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to ask Question No.129 to the Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives. (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the measures that have been taken by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to ensure that used motor vehicle parts such as vehicle air bags, steering assembles, braking systems and other parts imported into the country for re-use as spare parts are of sound quality and approved standards? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain why KEBS is allowing high-end vehicles such as Toyota Land-Cruiser V8 Models imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be inspected locally whereas there is a KEBS-appointed inspection agent for motor vehicles in Dubai? (iii) What steps is the Cabinet Secretary taking to ensure that the Market Surveillance Division (MSD) at KEBS has the capability of carrying out its mandate of vetting and approving products to ensure that they meet the set Kenyan standards and specifications? (iv) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide details of the local or locally owned inspection agents that have been contracted by KEBS under the Pre-export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme which have been in operation since September 2005 and explain how they are regulated? Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
That one will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. So, we go to the next segment of that particular Order which is request for Statements and response to Statements. We will start with request for Statement and I start with the Member for Turkana East, the Hon. Lokiru Mohamed Ali.
(Turkana East, ODM) Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to request for a Statement on the resurgence of cattle raids and killings in Turkana East. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order No.44(2)(c), I seek to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security regarding the resurgence of raids and killings in Kapedo area in Turkana East Constituency. Since the security operation was stopped at Kapedo area, there has been a resurgence of raids and killings of innocent civilians by armed bandits from Tiaty, Baringo County and Sigor, in West Pokot County. Several incidents have been reported and nothing has been done by the authorities. Just to mention a few, on 12th March 2021, a raid took place at Riet Village where three people were killed namely, Ekatapan Loyolel, Lowoi Loyolel and Etelek Loyolel. In the said incident, 3,000 sheep, 127 cows and 57 camels were taken. On 30th April 2021, a raid at Ngilukia was reported and two people namely, Ekale Kakinor and Eturen Lochamy were killed while Umana Lokwawi was injured. On 4th May 2021, one person again was injured while 340 goats were stolen at Lokori, 100 meters from Lokori GSU Camp. On 15th May 2021, one Ekalale Lopusngóle was killed while over 2,400 goats and 70 cows were taken at Riet area. On 3rd June 2021 again, a raid happened at Lomelo and two people namely, Lomoit Long’or and Long’or Ebunu were killed, while three others were seriously injured. On 7th June 2021, a raid was conducted at Lopii where two children were kidnapped but later rescued, 127 camels, 4,000 goats and 60 head of cattle were taken. All the security vehicles in Turkana East, an armored personnel carrier, were destroyed by the bandits. The bandits also caused injury to one of the police officers. There have been no efforts so far made to apprehend the bandits and recover the stolen livestock. This has become a normal business.
Just a minute, Hon. Ali. I think it is your phone which is probably ringing. You need to switch it off so that it does not distort your thought. The fact that we can hear it through the microphone means that it is yours. You can then proceed. Give him the microphone.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. There have been no efforts so far made to apprehend the bandits and recover the stolen livestock. This has become a normal business. It is against this background that I seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security focusing on the following: (i) What measures is the Government taking to address the resurgence of raids and conflict among communities in Baringo East, West Pokot and Turkana East? (ii) Could the Chairperson also explain the measures the Government has put in place to stop further raids? (iii) What efforts are in place to recover the stolen animals and arrest the perpetrators of such raids? (iv) What urgent steps are in place to assist communities in those areas to manage and utilize the available resources and address the conflicts arising from the bandits? Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Very well. Let us get the Chairperson or his Vice-Chair to tell us how much time they will require to respond to that particular Statement request. Both of them are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
absent. Leader of Majority Party, we expect that it should take two weeks. It will be responded to within two weeks. Let us go to responses to Statement requests. The first one is by Hon. Tom Mboya, Member for Nyatike Constituency. The Chairperson being absent, it means he is also not available to answer this one. So, we shift it to the Afternoon Sitting. The next one is also by the same Chairperson, who is to respond to Hon. Col. (Rtd.) Geoffrey King’ang’i. That one also should be responded to in the afternoon. The Leader of the Majority Party, we request that you ask the specific Chairperson to be available to respond to those Statements in the Afternoon Sitting of today. Let us go to the next Order.
On this part, the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee will be taking the Floor. On the particular request you have made, I would request that you come to a place where you are very sure that… Is it a no man’s zone? I think you will still be comfortable there since you are farthest from everybody. Unfortunately, you are coming closer to me, which is not okay. However, since this is a very critical issue, we will have to deal with it. Proceed, Hon. Chairperson. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for your indulgence. I have already got my second jab. So, I am still a bit safe. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Estimates for the National Government, the Judiciary and Parliament for the Financial Year 2021/2022, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 8th June 2021 and pursuant to the provisions of Article 221 of the Constitution, Section 39 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 and Standing Order No.239 – (a)approves the issuance of a sum of Kshs1,945,671,474,883 from the Consolidated Fund to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June 2022 in respect of the Votes contained in the First Schedule to the Order Paper, subject to paragraph (c) (Committee of Supply); (b) makes the Policy and Financial Resolutions contained in the Second Schedule to the Order Paper; and, (d) orders that “The Speaker do now leave the Chair” to facilitate the consideration of the said Budget Estimates with respect to each Vote and Programme in the Committee of Supply as contemplated under Standing Order No.240 (Consideration of Estimates in the Committee of Supply).
Hon. Chairperson, I hope you are aware that you have about five minutes to go. I know how difficult it is to summarise, but you already have done 26 minutes.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am just about to conclude. Thank you so much. There is a concern over the growing pension obligations which is attributed to many years of non-implementation of contributory pension plans. In the Financial Year 2021/2022, the financial obligations are estimated to be Kshs153.6 trillion. As I conclude, I want to highlight a few policy recommendations. The National Treasury should set up a fund that may be financed through a long-term bond for the payment of the existing verified pending bills and court awards. The funds should be in place by 1st October 2021. Specifically, there should be an infrastructure bond. There are so many pending bills in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development. If that is done, definitely we will offset some of the debts that we have. We have also indicated that a debt is a debt, whether it is foreign or locally owed to a contractor. They should all be treated the same. On the financial recommendations because of the constraints of time…After extensive deliberations, the Committee recommends that Kshs1.2 billion be set aside to fund projects arising from public hearings. This expenditure should also be domiciled under specific ministries. On the financial recommendations, the Budget and Appropriations Committee received substantial additional requests from departmental committees amounting to Kshs85. 7 billion to meet various expenditure shortfalls. However, due to the prevailing resource constraints and need to contain the fiscal deficit within a certain limit, the Committee could not finance most of these recommendations. However, we have agreed with most of the reallocations that were done within the Committee. The Committee, therefore, resolves that a reduction of Kshs20.328 billion be effected from the votes and programmes as shown in Schedule I and II and as per the justifications provided. Additionally, that the same amount be increased in the votes as shown in Schedule I and II. The allocation for Parliament will be capped at Kshs37.882 billion. We also had requests from Parliament but due to the fiscal constraints, they could not be acceded to. The third one is the allocation to the Judiciary which will be capped at Kshs17.833 billion. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
As I said at the outset, we will have Committee Chairs who will delve more on the allocation of departmental committees and I request Hon. (Dr.) Makali to second.
Hon. (Dr.) Makali, I am sure you are aware about the timelines that you have for seconding. Proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I am aware I have about 10 minutes and so I will see how to manage within that time, although it will be very difficult. I must start by thanking my Chairman for that good moving of the Motion. I thank my colleagues in the BAC for doing a thorough job on those budget proposals. I thank the departmental committees for their input. It was not easy to make this Budget.
Order! Who are these two Members standing behind the Leader of the Majority Party? They are not observing the rules of containment - Social distancing. We are not from the same place. Let us proceed, Dr. Makali.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I hope my few seconds will be compensated. It was not easy to make this Budget and, more so, based on the prevailing conditions in the country and the world. However, the economic fundamentals informing this Budget are quite strong. Despite the few risks which my Chair has mentioned, I hope Members noticed that if the assumptions underlying the Budget do not get changed as we move on, we are likely to realise the projected revenue. Looking at this Budget, for the first time, I would say that the projected revenue for this financial year appears to be more realistic as compared to the past years. We are likely to generate the proposed Kshs2.03 trillion. On the issue of private consumption…We seem to be monitored keenly. It is a fact in this country that what we call household income has seriously been eroded as a result of people losing their jobs and businesses. So, the demand side of the equation has a challenge. The other item we need to monitor seriously is the cost of energy. This is a threat to the inflation rights in this country. At the same time, unless the food prices continue to remain very low, it may be a risk because of the energy cost. As we look at this Budget keenly, there is a need to look at the way we are investing the money and, more so, the development budget. Time has come when any investment which is going to be taken in this financial year must target high priority areas where the expected returns are also very high. I just want to say a few things related to some of the things my Chairman has said. If you look at the pending bills, all the departments which appeared before us as a Committee did report very huge pending bills. What is critical is that these pending bills need to be analysed. I just want to single out one of the departments, namely, the State Department of Infrastructure, where we have pending bills relating to compensation. Kenyans out there have gone out of their way to give land to the Government to do roads, but these people have not been compensated for many years. I think this is really unfair to Kenyans who have given out land. These are areas where the Government needs to go out of its way to make sure that these kinds of pending bills are cleared because they affect our people. The other point is the issue of the Consolidated Fund Services. Just as the Chair has said, this item has already gone beyond the Recurrent Expenditure of this Government. I think we need to basically make sure that as a House that oversees the Executive, we start looking at the detailed explanatory notes to see what is in the Consolidated Fund Services. It is very important for this House for purposes of accountability and transparency. When these figures keep on moving up, then we have very minimal budget flexibility as a House, as Departments and even as the Treasury. In budgeting, there is a very small room to change things. It is like a straight jacket where you pay The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
debts and salaries and then you remain with a very small amount for development. I have said many times in this House that unless we address the matter of development, the economy will not grow. The cake will remain the same and we will not be able to share any bigger cake. This is where you see the issue of fiscal deficit becoming very serious in this country. As a country, both this House and the Executive, we need to monitor our expenditure patterns. Unless we do something on the expenditure side of the budget, we are likely to continue having a lot of problems. Another area that I want to focus on more is that of policy. We all know that we are now moving to what we call the Competency Based Curriculum. We know that next year, we will have Grade Five. This curriculum demands very regular evaluation, but when you look at the budget, you realise that this sector has been underfunded. It is the same with the technical training institutes. This brings us to the question of planning and budgeting because you must tie policy planning and budgeting, so that the policies are supported by planning and by the budget. Otherwise, you will have hanging policies which will not help the country. For example, many of the technical training institutes are complete in terms of infrastructure, but they have not been equipped. So Kenyans are not reaping the benefits of these institutions because they are not equipped. The other matter that is critical is if you look at the budget of the Auditor-General, it is actually not high. What we are forgetting is that in addition to auditing the national Government, the Auditor-General is auditing county governments, all the Special Funds and all constitutional commissions. Because the Auditor-General supports us to do our work in terms of oversight, I think this office needs to be properly funded so that we can get real time reports to do our work. Another critical issue is that of cash transfer. As a country, we have decided that we are going to support the elderly, orphans and quite a number of groups through cash transfers. However, when you analyse the budget, the cash transfers are not coming in a timely manner. Actually, there is a lot of delay. It can be four months delay. Some are given two months and there is another four months remaining. If it is Government policy to support these disadvantaged groups, it would be important that the cash transfer programme is adequately funded so that Kenyans can reap its benefits. The other issue is that of the Exchequer. Members are already complaining that the NG- CDF money has not been released. This has to do with Exchequer releases. The country is not generating enough money in terms of revenue collection to support the budget. The matter of Exchequer releases has to be properly monitored. Unless we get it right, the budgeting exercise becomes just an exercise in futility. The truth of the matter is that you budget, but the money that is supposed to support the implementation of the budget is not released by the Treasury. We have that challenge and that is why Members are saying “no NG-CDF, no budget”. In addition to “no NG-CDF, no budget”, there are other areas which also demand to be supported. I can see I am running short of time. As a House, we really need to monitor the budget- making process because even the supplementary budgets we are passing are also interfering. We reduce budgets which have already been committed and at the end of the day, we have pending bill. These are the small things which need to be sorted out. As I conclude, the other issue I want to comment on is tax administration. I think tax administration needs a serious review. I urge the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning to take that matter and follow it keenly. With those many remarks, I second the Motion.
Order, Hon. Members
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If I had to go through the list, of course, Hon. Mugambi Gichuki would be on top. Let us have Hon. Mugambi Gichuki and then I will give a chance to some committee chairs. They need to have some priority also because they will lead debate on some specific Votes.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I beg to support. This is the first time we continue to increasingly prepare our budget under very tight and delicate fiscal infrastructure. As the Chair has moved, we have a lot of challenges in this budget. One of them is pending bills. We discussed the issue of pending bills last year and whereas we appreciate the effort the national Government, through the National Treasury, has made to try and address this monster of the pending bills, it is not the case with the county governments. I think our Senate counterparts should take up this matter and ensure that county governments also reduce the pending bills. Pending bills are a big challenge to business community. We have seen many businesses collapsing. We have seen many being auctioned.
Just a minute, Hon. Member for Othaya. Just to inform the chairpersons, we will be going as per the listing of the committees as per the Second Schedule. Chairpersons will be having 15 minutes. The reason we gave Hon. Gichuki this opportunity was to allow the chairpersons to reorganise themselves and, of course, once in a while the Members will have a shot. Proceed, Hon. Gichuki.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. These pending bills are affecting the operations of our banking system. We have seen banks making extremely huge provisions in their loan book because people are not able to pay. The Government owes most of these people money through pending bills. We also have to speak to another monster in the issue of pending bills. We have Government ministries owed money by other Government ministries. It is a big challenge. A good example is a case of the KPLC. They are already under big pressure on operations and they are owed money by other Government ministries. We are requesting the National Treasury to coordinate all the departments and ensure that intra-pending bills within the Government are sorted out and this will ensure that Government parastatals which had a big financial challenge can at least survive.
The other monster is stalled projects. Most stalled projects are holding huge amounts of investments. When you consider that this money has been borrowed and then put or sunk into stalled projects, and we are paying interest, these projects are not producing or helping in increasing productive capacity within the economy, you wonder why we should be starting other projects. We have a stock of almost one trillion shillings in stalled projects. These are projects that are financed through borrowed funds. This House should take a lead particularly on our office block which continue to hoard a lot of money. Some of us continue to suffer without offices and yet we are planning for real projects without finishing a project which is already over 80 per cent complete.
When we look at the tax measures being undertaken to finance this budget, we realise that we are going to have a challenge. We are going to have a challenge because we are in a time when the Government should be giving incentives to the economy. Unfortunately, we are coming up with some very difficult tax measures. We should be careful not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. When we talk about tax measures like turnover tax, turnover tax for those who understand tax, is tax on sales, but we know that the principle of taxation is that tax should be levied on profits not on profit. There are many businesses even Government operations like KPLC The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
which made losses. When you tax them on sales, you are already killing them. We have very low margin businesses in this economy. They have high turnover, but they do not have the margin. If you tell them to pay you money in advance, you will kill them. In the long term, we are going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. I know we have to definitely finance our budget operations, but we must be careful not to affect our long-term survival by killing entrepreneurship and businesses which are employing hundreds and thousands of Kenyans. When you take businesses like oil business downstream, the margins are very low, but turnover is high. In businesses like steel manufacturing, their turnovers are very high, but margins are very low. If you tax them on turnover, you are going to kill them and we should stick to the principles of good taxation system. A good taxation system will always ensure that you tax those who should be taxed to always ensure that it is easy to administer tax. Today, we are introducing some tax system where you have even to go and employ a tax collector in a farmers shade to monitor the hen when it is laying the egg, to make sure that you tax that egg. That is not the principle of a good tax system. The principle of a good tax system should be to give the farmer time to feed his chicken, to collect his eggs, to take them to the market, to come back and calculate profits and then pay tax on what is remaining. That is a good tax system. The one where you monitor whether a chicken is about to lay an egg and then you ask the farmer whether it is you to take the egg or the farmer, is a bad tax system.
We also have to support our small scale businesses. We must ensure that the money we are borrowing from the banking sector is not crowding out the private sector. We have started seeing signs of interest rates coming up because the Government is borrowing a lot locally. We would request the National Treasury to continue making effort to externalise part of the debt and also to manage expenditure. As we speak, when you look at the amount of money we are paying on external loans plus interest and what we are paying as salaries and recurrent expenditure, it shows that we are between a rock and a hard place. The only way to manage this situation is for the National Treasury to come up with measures to reign in on unnecessary expenditure and also to ensure that most of the commercial loans which are short-term with high interest rates are renegotiated, externalised where we can, and we go the multilateral way where we can get loans on concession basis.
I beg to support.
We will go by the Second Schedule of the Standing Orders in terms of citing committees. Let me confirm that I do not see the first three, namely, the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security, the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, and the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation. In that case, I will give the Vice Chair of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. Unfortunately, he just walked out. The Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Education and Research, are you ready?
Yes, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to first and foremost thank the Members of two committees, namely, the Departmental Committee on Education and Research and the Budget and Appropriations Committee for their dedication in this process. The 2021/2022 proposed budget for the education sector, which has six spending agencies, is currently standing at Kshs503 billion. This sector ranks among the highest in terms of resource allocation in the budget. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Government for according us the support even if the resources are not enough. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the various areas of spending which have been given priority in the budget include resources to support free primary and secondary education, school infrastructural improvement, funding of the university education, management of teacher resources, as well as expansion of the various TVET institutions in the country. As part of our oversight role in the budget, allow me to point out some key issues which the Committee observed in the proposed budget for the education sector and which the Committee tried to address in its review of the Budget Estimates. One, my Committee noted that the school feeding program aimed at retaining learners in primary schools is disadvantaged in areas not being administered in an effective manner. One of the reason is the inadequacies in the criteria used to identify which areas to benefit. We have requested the Ministry to quickly review the policy to ensure that areas are mapped again so that we can have even the slum areas reached by this program. Further, we have also supported LOCONEC, which is going to expand this program in terms of bringing development partners on board to ensure this program reaches many students who need the school feeding program. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Committee also noted that the Ministry has been capturing learner's details through the Information Management System (IMS) where we capture the data of the learners. This is going to ensure that any capitation that goes to schools rules out any ghost students so that we the capitation reaches the right beneficiaries. On the expansion of TVET infrastructure, the Committee also observed that the first phase of the 30 technical training institutes (TTIs) is well on course. However, the money that is being released is not enough. We kindly requested the National Treasury to ensure that these TVETs are completed so that areas that have the TTIs benefit from them. The Committee also noted that most of the infrastructure projects in public universities are not well funded and they have really taken long to be completed. We kindly requested the National Treasury, through the Departmental Committee on Budget and Appropriations, to ensure that these TTIs are fully supported for them to be completed for use. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, on university education, the Committee observed that most of the public universities are not well funded and are struggling to stay operational. The problem is compounded by the criteria used to allocate resources to them. A thorough review of the funding criteria for universities quickly needs to be done, which the Committee is undertaking currently, so that they get adequate funding. We have also requested for the support of the Universities Funding Board, which is a body legally mandated to review how public universities are funded. We have requested for support in the current budget. As a country, we need to have a serious conversation on whether we require the many universities in view of the constrained resources. This is a discourse which needs to be opened up for Members to discuss. With the current roll out of the Competency Based Curriculum, there is need to ensure that the many examination assessments which will be required will be in a safe custody. That is why the Committee is supporting the completion of the Mitihani House, as the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Budget and Appropriations has said, because Mitihani House has stalled for the last 35 years. My Committee is very committed to having this house completed because in the new CBC, many assessments will be done and we need to have them done locally. Currently, we are having exams printed abroad and it is very expensive. It would be prudent to complete this construction, so that the security of examinations and exam materials are guaranteed as the country implements the new CBC. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, still on the issue of the implementation of the new curriculum, the Committee noted that the newly established State Department for Implementation The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of Curriculum Reforms has unfortunately not been supported in the current budget. This is going to throw the education sector in disarray despite the House having approved the appointment of the Principal Secretary. This may delay the operationalisation of this very important department, hence, derailing the smooth implementation of the new curriculum. The National Treasury should ensure that this department is provided with resources so that the rollout of the curriculum reforms is done properly. Lastly, I would like to comment on the issue of recruitment of teachers which is dear to Members of this House. Given the Government's 100 per cent transition and the issue of the new curriculum reforms, we will need a higher number of teachers hired so that we can ensure that the 100 per cent transition takes place properly. We also need infrastructure because of the same 100 per cent transition. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has been allocated Kshs2.5 billion to hire only 5,000 teachers for secondary schools which is hardly enough given the prevailing teaching resources. We, as a Committee, requested the National Treasury, through the Departmental Committee on Budget and Appropriations, to give us an additional 5,000 teachers so that this time, we can hire 10,000 teachers, and a good number of teachers can be hired in the constituencies. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, not related to the budget, but related to the issue of the TSC policy, Hon. Members should know that we are relooking at the Act to ensure that when the teachers are being hired, we have 70:30 per cent; 70 per cent being the local people being hired and 30 per cent from external. So, Members kindly know that we are looking at that policy to ensure that we hire teachers locally first, the 70 per cent, and 30 per cent externally to ensure that our people, who we represent, also get hired first. My Committee having reviewed the budget for the education sector, made policies and financial recommendations which I believe the Ministry will pick to ensure the intended outcomes of the education sector are fully achieved. I thank you.
Thank you, Chairlady of the Departmental Committee on Education, for a job well done. We appreciate that. The next Chairperson is that of the Departmental Committee on Energy as per our Standing Orders. Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Energy is not in the House at the moment. The next is the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. He is not in the House. The Chairlady, Departmental Committee on Finance and Planning, Hon. (Ms.) Gladys Wanga.
(Homa Bay (CWR), ODM): Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Report by the Departmental Committee on Budget and Appropriations. I thank the Departmental Committee on Budget and Appropriations for putting in a lot of work in coming up with this Report within the short time that was available. I would also like to thank the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning for the work they put in in scrutinising the budget for the departments and commissions that fall under our Committee. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we do this budget under the reality of significant resource constraints. The whole world is reeling under the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and an under-performing economy. This is a reality that has hit Kenyans with job losses and with inability of Kenyans who were able to feed their families now being unable to fend for their families. In the last financial year, we had a raft of COVID-19 relief measures which provided relief and cushion for many families. We had deductions in Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), we had deductions in the Value Added Tax (VAT), and we had deductions in corporate taxes so that we The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
were able to help our corporates to save jobs for our people. These deductions in taxes cushioned Kenyans. However, they resulted in a drastic drop in our revenue. Therefore, we are between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, we are cushioning Kenyans, but on the other hand, we have to raise sufficient revenue to provide services for them.
The situation that we find ourselves in calls for creativity in tax administration. This is not in terms of not only taxing the same old culprits, but also trying to widen our tax base by finding new people. We need to invest sufficiently in the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). As the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning, we have a Report on the Floor of this House that speaks to some of the areas that we feel there needs to be investment in KRA, so that we can raise more money. While we were discussing some issues with KRA, we learnt that for every one shilling that we invest there, we can raise Kshs100. Therefore, if we put in an extra one billion, we are likely to raise Kshs100 billion. If we do not invest enough in KRA and some of the facilities that we require, we cannot raise money.
We thank the National Treasury for ensuring that we will now have scanners along our borders. When the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning visited our borders in Malaba in Busia County, we discovered that the Ugandan side whose total tax revenue is Kshs600 billion has invested in electronic scanners. However, there are no scanners on the Kenyan side of the border. Therefore, Kenyan officers wait for images from the Ugandan side to check whether a truck has covered ethanol with water melons. These are some of the investments that we must make.
The issue of debt has already been raised by the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. We have a debt of Kshs7.3 trillion currently. Then, there is an additional Kshs1.35 trillion of debt that has been signed, but has not been drawn or disbursed. This brings the total debt to Kshs8.65 trillion against a ceiling of Kshs9 trillion. Our fiscal deficit in this financial year is almost Kshs900 billion. This means that we must adjust our debt ceiling to accommodate what we will do in this coming financial year.
What alternatives do we have on the matter of debt? We thank the National Treasury for an aggressive push towards having Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Before the Floor of this House, we have the PPP Bill that we will ensure is passed.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Wanga, just hold on for a moment. The Member for Aldai seems to be agitated about something. What is out of order, Member for Aldai, Hon. Serem?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are discussing a matter of national importance in this House. Is it in order that we are discussing this weighty matter on the Floor of the House, when we do not have the Quorum?
Hon. Members, the Member has stood in his place and raised that point of order. We know its meaning. I will direct that we certify the numbers that we have within the next two minutes, so that we can proceed. Otherwise, we will ring the Quorum Bell. The Serjeant-at-Arms, through the Clerks-at-the-Table, will confirm whether we have the requisite Quorum.
Hon. Serem cannot leave the chamber. You will stay here until this process is over. Hon. Members, you know that when this point of order is raised, you cannot leave the chamber when The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
the certification is going on. I am waiting for the confirmation of the Members who are in the holding chambers.
Can you ring the Quorum Bell?
Member for Emurua Dikirr. Hon. Chris Wamalwa, hold your horses. The Speaker is in charge. Relax. You cannot direct him from where you are seated.
Hon. Members, the Serjeant-at-Arms have confirmed that we have the requisite numbers to proceed with this business. There are enough Members in the holding chambers. We shall proceed. Hon. Wanga, proceed. Your microphone has gone off. We cannot find you. Kindly move to the Table here. Give her the microphone.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Hon. Serem is my neighbour in the village, but he is now behaving like a first-term Member of Parliament. If one has never spoken in Parliament, the only thing they do is to stand and raise the issue of lack of quorum. Hon. Serem, as a good neighbour who was also known to my father, should behave like the adult that he is and as a good legislator. I do not know why he is behaving like a newcomer or an armature. All the matters are here and we will debate them here and agree on them here on the Floor of the House and not when we are out.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the issue of alternatives to debt, I thank the National Treasury for its aggressive push towards Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) so that some of these capital projects can be funded through the PPPs rather than from the Exchequer. The Bill on the PPPs is in this House and we hope Members will support it so that we can go the PPP direction on some of the major investments.
There is also the issue of privatisation and divestiture. We have not had any listing in the Nairobi Securities Exchange for a very long time, for almost over ten years. I would like to urge the National Treasury to move with speed because we have a Privatisation Commission that is not complete. It has a chairman, but does not have a complete board. So the National Treasury should move with speed to appoint commissioners to the Privatisation Commission, so that it can continue to look at the list for privatisation, so that we can make a decision on how else we can raise money away from just borrowing.
On the issue of planning, we must continue to fund and support the State Department of Planning, so that we can plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail as it was said by Benjamin Franklin many years ago. Institutions such as Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) that were excellent, premier institutions of research, are currently crumbling because of underfunding. This we should move and do.
In terms of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF), the allocation, under planning, of Kshs41.7 billion, the Committee has made a recommendation for an increase. We will be discussing that when we come to the Committee of Supply. Our people rely mostly on what they can reach easiest, which is the NG-CDF. Every corner in the country you go to, you will see that NG-CDF is doing what it was meant to do. The same goes for the National Government Affirmative Fund (NGAF). The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
On the issue of the State Department for Devolution, I urge the House to consider funding emergencies. Since Independence, for the first time, there is no fund for emergencies. In case there are floods or drought, every Member of Parliament will have to go to their pockets to look for money. The feeding programmes we have had in counties such as Turkana, where, continuously, say, on a monthly basis have been receiving aid because of drought, have not been budgeted for. We hope, and have proposed, as a Committee, that we can look at some of these areas.
A commission such as the Commission on Revenue Allocation requires support so that we can deal with own-source of revenue. If you look at our counties, the own-source revenue that they were raising when they were still county councils has now dropped by almost 90 per cent in terms of reporting. So, you wonder whether counties are no longer raising the money or they are being raised, but going to people’s pockets like pocket change without being reported and remitted to the Consolidated Fund.
These are some of the areas that we have strong proposals to make upon as the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. I know Hon. Chris Wamalwa was saying that as the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning, we need to speak to revenue raising measures. Next week, the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning will be tabling its report on the Finance Bill. At that point, we will discuss adequately our revenue raising measures and the proposals that have been made by the National Treasury. We have listened to various views as far as public participation is concerned and we have proposals of moving forward. At that point, we will discuss in details the revenue raising measures.
For now, those are some of our comments on the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Estimates for 2021/2022.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to support.
Well done, Chair of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. Next is the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Health.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Whip of the Majority Party.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this House is governed by rules and order. Is the Member for Aldai in order to keep on criss-crossing from one chair to another despite the issues of COVID-19? He is moving in the pretext that he wants to mobilise Members to go out yet all of us are with him in terms of seeking funds for the NG-CDF. By virtue of his actions, I am worried that my Members might end up getting COVID-19. Is the Member in order to keep hopping around from one place to another?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Members, you know this is a House of consultations and we consult from time to time. Even what he is trying to do is also within our Standing Orders.
If he feels that he needs to rise on a point of order on quorum, he can do so and we will deal with it. But as he does that, I advise him to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols so that he protects himself The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
and the other Members. Consultations for Members will continue, but within the COVID-19 requirements.
Let us have the Chair for the Departmental Committee on Health.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
The Hon. Member for Saku, what is out of order?
Thank you very much Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Chairs have had the priority during this Morning Sitting, but we, the Members, have come early to contribute to the same. I wish to seek your indulgence that we can have two chairpersons of committees speak followed by one Member, so that we do not sit here in vain. In that case, we should follow the advice of the Member for Aldai, and walk out. Thank you.
Member for Saku, I saw you here very early. I was here early with you when we started. But we are the Members who set up the Standing Orders. If you have a look at Standing Order No.216, it gives priority to chairpersons. They are not too many. I just have three or four to go then I will come to the Members. So, these are Standing Orders and my hands are bound. We should finish up with the chairpersons. Just hold on. You will have your say. Member for Saku, you always have your say.
The Chair of the Departmental Committee on Health is not there. The next one is the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. I do not see him. Labour and Social Welfare. We will then have the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Lands, followed by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism, followed by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, then the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, and then the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, in that order. That will be it. Proceed, the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Report by the Budget and Appropriations Committee. On the onset, I thank them for working very hard under difficult conditions that we are in in the country to produce this Report. As I do so, I encourage them to continue fighting for the integrity of our budgets and budget making processes, and more so, ensuring that what we budget for is what we can meet in terms of supply. One of the things that we have noted is that despite the budgets that we do pass in this House, quite often than not, disbursements of funds from the Treasury delays services out there. In the Department of Labour and Social Welfare, we have a number of our Departments that are suffering that cannot provide services because of delayed disbursement especially for Third and Fourth Quarters. We have, particularly, child welfare that has not received funds for the Third and Fourth Quarters, thereby, putting vulnerable children that have been sponsored by this particular Department at risk of being thrown out of the schools that they are in. Therefore, I request that the Budget and Appropriations Committee continue following it up with the Cabinet Secretary (CS) to ensure that release of funds especially for critical areas is given priority. The budget that we have before us, while we are under serious challenges of our economy, we encourage the Budget and Appropriations Committee to prioritise areas that are social in nature and those that can generate income to not only sustain themselves, but also generate funds to our country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The Inua Jamii Programme falls under our Committee. As Members know, this is an important area where the elderly, both men and women, who are over 70 years of age, are supposed to receive money to help them to live decent lives. In the current budget, we have a deficit of Kshs4.7 billion putting 128,000 elderly men and women out of the scheme and disfranchising them from their peers who are receiving this money. It is painful when your neighbours are receiving this money and you are not receiving it. This is an area that I really urge the Budget and Appropriations Committee to look again and see what can be done to cover this deficit of Kshs4.7 billion. The Kshs4.7 billion is for the currently registered elderly men and women. There are many others out there who are yet to be entered into the programme through registration. If we have to sustain this programme, then we need to finance it continually and ensure that we are not causing grief to some of our members of the society. This Committee oversees the Department of Labour and Social Welfare which is also looking at very important areas including the youth, women, children, elderly and people living with disabilities (PWDs). It is unfortunate that these areas continue to be underfunded yet they are the areas that are supposed to look at the vulnerable members of our society. We continue to have them underfunded. The Youth Empowerment Fund was allocated only Kshs60 million to support the youth-owned enterprises, and yet the youth constitutes 60 per cent of our population. This is money that cannot be felt in any way. Another area that is underfunded and it is unfortunate is the National Employment Authority. This Authority has the potential to secure job opportunities for our youth who are unemployed in the countries of the Middle East, Europe, Australia, Canada and others. They have the potential to increase revenue remittance in this country by a large margin. Just to give a comparison, in the 2020, countries were able to have remittances of Kshs59 billion; Mexico - Kshs42 billion; Philippines - Kshs32 billion; Egypt - Kshs29 billion; China - Kshs83 billion, and Kenya, with all its potential, was only able to have a remittance of Kshs3.1 billion. Within the short time I have interacted with the Members of this Committee, we have been discussing why we are not able to attract more labour exports, and some of the things that we have discovered is that our country has not been able to place labour attaches in some of these countries. They have placed labour attaches in only four countries including Swaziland, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. It is our opinion that we need to increase our funding to this Ministry, so that more of labour attaches in liaison with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be attached to these countries to attract more revenue. Those of us who are following up on what is happening in places like Dubai, only 13 per cent of the total population of that country are local people. The rest of the people who are in Dubai, namely, 87 per cent, are foreigners. These foreigners are earning a lot of revenue for their countries. In our situation, because of underfunding of institutions like the National Employment Authority that will not only help our youth to secure jobs, but also ensure that they are treated decently wherever they are, we find that some of the Kenyans out there are suffering. They are suffering because some of them went to these countries without the help of the Government, but through agents whose sole purpose is to earn from the young men and women. They are under torture out there. We do not have labour attaches who follow up on what they are doing out there. When you go to some of these countries, you find that, while other nationals are enjoying their employment having secured very decent employment in these countries, our people are not The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
looked after. It is for this reason, once again, that I urge the Budget and Appropriations Committee to look at some of these areas that will directly generate revenue for our country. Another area is the National Youth Service (NYS) which is now operating under a new Act. The old NYS that we knew is probably changing to an institution that has the potential to generate revenue to not only sustain itself, but also generate revenue for this country. Anyone who visits the NYS would be impressed by the construction equipment that is sitting idle in that institution awaiting funding for their newly created enterprise that would help to turn them into a business institution. Those of us who are following what is happening in China are aware that the companies that are constructing roads and buildings in this country are directly owned by the Chinese Government. We have no reason not to utilise the resources that are possessed by the NYS to help us in the building of infrastructure. They have come up with an enterprise. They have been looking for funding for the last five years. All they require is about Kshs2 billion to kick off that particular enterprise. We should then hold them accountable to ensure that they no longer rely on Government funding as they generate funds for themselves. This is important so that as we prepare our budget even as we deal with the challenges that this country is going through, just like any country, we continue to be innovative and support special priority areas; areas that generate revenue, to ensure that we support our budgets and stop relying on foreign support. Another area that I want to speak on is one that is covered very well in the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, namely, pending bills and stalled projects. Pending bills are a thorn in the flesh of many Kenyans who genuinely did jobs for this country. Those people are today leading a very poor life yet they supplied or provided services to the Government. Since some of these pending bills have been subjected to vetting, it is high time the National Treasury and the Committee came up with a lasting solution to this problem. In the Report, there is a recommendation by the Committee that the National Treasury should come up with a long-term bond to address the issue of pending bills once and for all, so that we do not continue having this item in our budget. The NYS has its own history. The Government should not punish people who genuinely supplied goods and services. The NYS owes suppliers and service providers about Kshs15 billion. When we went through that list, we realised that with a sum of about Kshs2 billion, we can pay the small-scale
uppliers who are suffering out there. These are suppliers who are owed less than Kshs1 million or Kshs2 million each. This will help dependants of people who no longer exist. It is due to these pending bills that some people actually took their lives away or have ended up dying because they could not sustain themselves. This is, therefore, an issue that should be taken seriously. We thank the President for the directive that he gave, that all the pending bills should be cleared. It is upon the National Treasury to innovatively come up with an idea on how to clear this item out of our budget. I do not know whether we have stock of all the stalled projects in all the sectors of this country. Stalled projects are denying Kenyans essential services, some of which would improve the lives of Kenyans. I, therefore, urge the National Treasury to focus on this issue and ensure that every sector addresses the issue of stalled projects, so that Kenyans can start enjoying the services of those projects. With those few remarks, I support the Report.
Chair, Departmental Committee on Lands, you have the Floor. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I support this Report. I would like to thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Chairman and Members, for the effort they have made in reviewing the Budget Estimates within the shortest time that was available. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Members of the Departmental Committee on Lands for effectively interacting with the Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, and the National Lands Commission. The Committee has made great recommendations that I will be going through. As the House is aware, we deal with the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, and the National Lands Commission. With regard to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, the focus is on titling and digitisation. This is production of title deeds for land that has been registered, which is a huge programme. The President would like to have all the land in this country digitised to ensure that when people come to invest, they are able to identify where the land is and get an indication of its value based on the laws that have been passed in this House and also in making reference to the land value index that was done. A lot of money has been put into production of title deeds and digitisation. For the purpose of relevance, the Committee noted several issues on land. Just as the Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee said, we noted that the National Treasury had not implemented the resolution of this House contained in the Budget Policy Statement. Ours was slightly higher and has been clearly stated by the Chair. The State Department for Physical Planning continues to operate on a very low budget of Kshs60 million. I joined this Committee in 2017 and the budget allocation for this department has been more or less the same. This House approved a nominee who was vetted for appointment to the position of Principle Secretary for the Department of Physical Planning. The PS clearly told the Committee that there was a requirement of Kshs1.9 billion for the Ministry to support Physical Planning within the counties. We are aware that physical planning is very important. What has been put there is only Kshs60 million. I would like to thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee because they listened to the recommendations of my Committee and this department’s budget allocation has been pushed up to Kshs200 million. However, it is still low. Since we now have a Principle Secretary for this department, it is important for it to be funded. The State Department for Physical Planning needs to be allocated a Budget Vote to facilitate implementation of the proposed National Sectional Spatial Program (NSSP) and the Counties Spatial Support Program. The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning needs to cease revenue collection in cash. The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning is an important Ministry for all the other ministries because it provides land, which is required for development. Looking at the revenue collection for this financial year, by March 2021, the Ministry had collected Kshs7.3 billion against a target of Kshs13 billion. We need to sensitise the House on the importance of financing the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning because it is a Ministry that can finance itself and probably finance other departments as well. What the Committee has recommended is that the Ministry must cease cash collection. We have said this before. We are giving a close on the last day of June 2021 so that they do not have any excuse for collecting money in cash form. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, settlement of the landless in this country is an important aspect of the Government. The President has been very clear on settlement of people who are landless and the Committee has recommended uniformity in ensuring that it does not happen only The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
in one region of the country, but in all regions. We have seen the Ministry making an effort towards that. However, the Committee noted that only Kshs49 million has been given for resettlement of the landless in the Financial Year 2021/2022, against 39,000 people. You see, Kshs49 million against 39,000 persons clearly shows that planning has not been done very well. I thank the Committee again because the Departmental Committee on Lands made a recommendation of additional funding and we got Kshs250 million, at least, making it about Kshs300 million. We are really grateful as a departmental committee that the Committee on Budget and Appropriations is able to take into consideration issues raised within the departmental committees. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning has an interesting pending Bill of Kshs7,000,245,228,954. What we noticed as interesting is that this had not been declared earlier when you look at the reports that we are bringing. It was explained to us that they had put together all the pending bills from different governments. We realised most of these bills are awards made in court cases. These are awards going back to the last three governments where ministries had been sued due to commission or omission or falsification of documents by our own officers. The Departmental Committee is very keen on this matter because we realise that our own lawyers are losing so many cases and also there is falsification of documents. The Departmental Committee on Lands would like the people responsible for falsification of documents to be held liable. We are talking of Kshs7.2 billion in pending bills which relate to matters in courts. These pending bills were not reflected in the previous financial years’ reports despite the cases dating back to 2005. The Committee cast doubt on the authenticity of these pending bills. With regard to oversight, we said that we would like the Ministry to ensure that they go through these pending bills before payments are made. As we look at the National Land Commission, it has been funded very lowly based on what they presented to the Committee and also to this House. We realised that most of the funding for the National Land Commission does not cater for development. This is very interesting because you realise that they can pay salaries and that is it. They have several projects that they have indicated they would like to have funded. The National Land Commission has not been allocated funds for development expenditure despite several presentations that have been made for development expenditure to the National Treasury including a proposal on vesting of land that has been acquired. We put so much effort. I remember the person who seconded this Motion, Hon. Makali Mulu, was talking about so many pieces of land that have been acquired compulsorily by the Government. The National Land Commission is supposed to ensure that vesting of this land is done. However, we have been unable to provide. The budget that they have been requesting for is Kshs600 million. It is important to note that the Commissioners at the National Land Commission are using vehicles bought in 2013, which is a matter of concern. Moreover, they are expected to work in the counties. They are unable to move in and out of these counties. As I talk about budget, I would like to thank the Ministry for what it has done. Thousands and thousands and actually millions of title deeds have been produced between 2017 and 2021. I would like to say that this is a great achievement by the Ministry and would like them to continue doing the same. Additionally, you realise that the Departmental Committee on Lands also reduced slightly the budget for titling and in concurrence with the Ministry. They clearly explained to the Budget and Appropriations Committee that this was done so that we can push money towards digitisation of titles, which as I said earlier is a big project we would like to see being funded. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
With regard to recommendations, one of the policy recommendations is that the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning should have stopped dealing with cash by 30th May, 2021. The National Treasury should allocate a vote to the State Department of Physical Planning as I had clearly explained and state the projects that should be funded. The Government, through the Cabinet, should review the current policy of centralising implementation of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT). The National Land Commission has a challenge with pushing for ICT projects because this is being done at the Ministry in charge of ICT and they are saying that this causes challenges. This year they recorded zero in terms of implementation and they could not do anything. The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning should expedite full implementation of digitisation of land registries. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you notice that digitisation of land is up there. Most important is to ensure that county offices are working. The county offices need to have infrastructure such as computers. The Ministry has managed to digitise Nairobi and its environs and they are planning to go to the counties. Therefore, the recommendation of the Departmental Committee on Lands was that we need to see more construction of proper offices within counties. This is where they have requested for funds to construct offices including one in Wajir. The northern region does not have a proper office and this is one of the recommendations. With regard to financial recommendations, the Committee recommends that the House approves a vote of Kshs1,437,200,000 for the National Land Commission. I have said that this is very low. The National Land Commission has never received funding for development and this is a concern. They need to deal with issues of counties. Vote 112, Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning comprises of recurrent expenditure of Kshs3,044,600,000 and development expenditure of Kshs2,411,700,000. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to just state the financial recommendations made by the Departmental Committee. The Departmental Committee recommends that Kshs450 million be reduced from the processing, titling and registration of title deeds in the Land Policy and Planning Programme in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning and raise the allocation for settlement to Kshs250, as I had clearly explained. This Kshs250 million is going to purchase land for a group called “Taita Taveta Teachers”. The land is in Kisauni and it takes more than half of Kisauni Constituency. It is a matter that was passed by this House. Therefore, we really appreciate that this has finally been done. An amount of Kshs. 100 million is to be increased in the Physical Planning Project so that the Department of Physical Planning can be facilitated to work. As I had said, it had been given very low amount and I have clearly also explained that it requires about Kshs1.9 billion. Therefore, this is just to kick start the work of the Department of Physical Planning which has been created. An amount of Kshs.50 million will go towards construction of land registries to boost the digitisation programme. I would also like to highlight other recommendations that the Committee made. The National Treasury should avail additional funding in the future by Kshs700 million to go to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning for the digitisation process. This is so that we can see many of our pieces of land in counties being digitised. Those who have tried to experience what is happening in Nairobi know the advantage we are talking about. Someone can get a search within less than three minutes. An amount of Kshs. 300 million be provided to settlement. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Kshs65 million be provided for construction of land registries; Kshs600 million to go to the National Land Commission; Kshs74 million to the NLC for purchase of vehicles; and another Kshs64 million to facilitate recruitment of technical staff. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks I support. Thank you.
The next is the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism. Next one is Trade, Industry and Cooperatives. They are not there. Transport, Public Works and Housing? Not there too. We shall have the Chairperson, Departmental Committee of Defence and Foreign Relations. That will be the last of the Chairs.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity so that I can make remarks on behalf of our Committee. At the outset, we acknowledge the tireless work done by the BAC of running through all the 47 counties. It took a lot of hard work and we appreciate the input they got from those counties. This is the fourth annual budget to be prepared in the second term of the Jubilee administration, under the economic transformation agenda, which now puts emphasis on the Big Four Agenda. We are hoping that this Budget will help us achieve that. The success of the Big Four Agenda will help the country to raise the kind of money that we are looking for to create employment opportunities for the many unemployed youth. It will also boost the economy so that we have a bigger cake to share from, as opposed to what we have at the moment, where all of us are struggling to get a pie of what we have already exhausted. You can only give what you have and when you do not have, wisdom demands that you get a way of increasing that which you have so that you can have something to give out.
Our security forces, particularly the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), have managed to keep the Al-Shabaab threat at bay. The attacks on our side have reduced tremendously in the second term of the Jubilee administration compared to what we experienced in the first term. We are alive to the threats facing the military, our people, and the nation at large. Our forces remained alive to these threats. They are determined to neutralise the militants completely. This is good for the country; we all owe it to the nation. Our forces have done their bit. We have seen tremendous improvement compared to previous years. What the army has achieved together with the rest of the agencies, by teaming up together, is tremendous. They have ensured that Kenya is safe for anybody to live in and achieve their full potential.
I want to congratulate the Ministry of Defence for prudent utilisation of resources appropriated to them by this House. For the first time they were given an unqualified opinion by the Auditors when the audit report came out. That is good news for all of us. In the past, as a country, we have always assumed that what is given to the Kenya Army is top secret and so they did not have to be accountable. Having had an opportunity to go to some of their institutions, I can attest, on behalf of my colleagues in Parliament and Kenyans that for sure the Kenya Army is probably one of the most successful institutions we have in this country, in terms of performance and utilisation of resources and professionalism. No wonder the President is tapping into their potential and using them to instill some values and ethos into our society. He hopes that some of us will pick it up from that point and make our country great again, as it should be for the good of the generations to come. However, may I register my disappointment that, there have been some pending bills, despite the efforts by the Kenya Army. In 2019/2020 Financial Year, the Ministry closed the year with pending bills amounting to Ksh8.1billion. This is against the assumption most of us have, that Kenya Army or the Defence The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Forces are given money in full. The danger with these kinds of pending bills is that it exposes them. The last thing we want to have is our army being dragged to court for failing to pay their pending bills. The danger with this kind of arrangement in an institution which is as critical as the Kenya Army, is that when they get their share, they will use their budget on these pending bills. Consequently, that will reduce the money they have in their budget.
So, we urge the Ministry of Finance to move with speed and make good the outstanding money to the KDF so that they can pay their pending bills. This is a critical institution. We know that the country is as good as its army or defence forces. We want to have them comfortable within our economic comfort zone. We must ensure their safety so that they in turn can protect our people. This will enable investors to come and invest in Kenya.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) plays a critical role in providing security, intelligence and counter-intelligence to deal with emerging threats such as terrorism. There also exists extraordinary threats like, internal and socio-political threats, environmental and regional cyber threats, among others. Despite a proposed allocation of Ksh42.5 billion, the agency still faces budgetary constraints just like other agencies. We implore upon the service to deliver with available resources given the macro-economic constraints facing our country, such as rising debt levels and the ever-growing fiscal deficits. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is equally a very critical institution. As we speak about that, the NSIS is one critical institution which overlaps almost in every sector in this Government. They are everywhere and their success is going to impact on every sector of this economy, because without intelligence reports, we have no capacity of knowing what is happening. We have no chance of knowing what the foreigners are planning against us or for us; we have no chance of developing systems to counter foreseen threats.
Unknown to many Kenyans, the NIS has done a lot for this country. During the COVID- 19 situation, they were used immensely, especially, in contact tracing for the good of the country. We normally assume that it is a docket which should be handled by the Ministry of Health. Unfortunately, it had no capacity. The NSIS helped in tracking down all the people concerned, thus helping manage COVID-19. When we all succeed, we do it as a country. We need to do that so that we attract both foreign and local investors who will have comfort in the country. This is to enable them do their business knowing that big brother is watching over them in a good way to ensure they are safe.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the NSIS is a key institution that we need to support. I am grateful that the BAC has tried to assist it. However, their proposal was that they get about Ksh46 billion so that they can achieve their goals. This being a new year, and one which we are preparing for the national elections, it is critical that the NIS is given resources and the support they need. They will ensure that there is safety and order. They will offer us protection. It is because they are the people who feed information to the Police, especially the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, so that they can act on the information they have been given. When we started supporting them, the Al-Shabaab and other terrorist threats went down drastically. Some people might ask: What is it that is being done by NSIS? They work to stop or pre-empt. Their work is to ensure that it does not happen, but people are waiting for things to happen, then they will appreciate that NSIS is working. My Committee has had an opportunity of going to the institutions. I will tell you we have never appreciated the kind of work they are doing. It is great and we are grateful that we have the kind of people in that department especially under the leadership of the general who has done The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
tremendous work. We are all happy as a team. Even the resources which have been allocated to them have been used prudently. However, it is not enough, just like it is not enough in all the departments of our country or economy. We urge the Budget and Appropriations Committee to allocate them a little more money so that they ensure that our country is safe.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs faces uncertainty given the level of funding against the requirement for the ministry. First there is the depreciation of the shilling against the dollar. You appreciate that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is dealing with foreign institutions and their operations most times are foreign currency based. Whenever they are sending money to our embassies, they are sending them in dollars or foreign currencies. Therefore, they suffer the risk of fluctuation. Whenever our shilling is weakened, that reduces their budget by almost 4 to 5 per cent, depending on the fluctuation. So, we urge the Budget and Appropriations Committee to appropriate them some funds to cushion them on those fluctuations. They have to get money somehow from their own savings to use in the event that the shilling has fallen or depreciated against the hard currencies in the world. The current arrangement is that the mission retains collection for visas, passports and other fees and the money is utilised to fund immigration attachés in foreign missions.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is a feeling, and it is a proposal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that all the departments which are seconding their officers to the embassies should be able to finance their operations over there. This is because in their budgets, they have that provision. However, unfortunately, when they send their officers, except NSIS, the rest of the departments which are sending their officers as attachés to the embassies have had to get the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to finance their operations, which eats up into their budget and yet again this budget has been given by the relevant department. We think that all the agencies which are being represented at the embassies should be able to finance and provide for their officers.
The policy on centralisation of ICT services was not possible to be implemented in foreign missions. There was need for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be funded directly to enable them leverage on ICT for service delivery. Why the Committee welcomes the shift in policy change, their addendum as submitted by the National Treasury has not provided for such resources under the programme of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy and the Government has a good vision. They want to centralise the services, but there are some critical institutions because of the security and the kind of information they are handling, we feel as a Committee that the sensitivity of that information might help to have them given some exemption so that they can run it independently from the policy that we have today of centralised service provision.
The Ministry has acquired some assets all over the world. We have some assets in some countries. We desire to have in every country. If you have had an opportunity of going to some of these embassies, for example, Washington, Kenya has an asset. It is a very prime asset. If you go to New York we have an asset and also in Kinshasa. In Zambia we probably have one of the best assets. In South Africa as a country we have an asset. These assets, just like any other asset you have at home, you must have a budget to take care of renovations and maintenance. So, we urge the Government to have a budget for the same so that they can provide.
The regional development authorities require support. We either make up our mind and let them go to the counties or we get them funded adequately so that they can do the duties they are supposed to be doing. We are already coming up with a Bill as a Committee to align the regional The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
authorities to the national government so that they can achieve that which they need to achieve. Given the tight fiscal framework, we could not get resources to allocate to the departments. We call upon the National Treasury to allocate money to the departments. We call upon the National Treasury to consider the state department for more resources, should the fiscal space allow, to enable them undertake the non-funded critical activities. With those many remarks...
Hon. ole Sankok.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute in such an important function of this House, the function of budgeting and resource allocation to various ministries, departments and agencies of the Government, which is our sole mandate here. There are some issues that I would like to touch. One of them is Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), a programme started by my President, His Excellency Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, with a very good intention to uplift the lives of the vulnerable members of our society. It means access to government procurement opportunities by persons with disabilities, youth and women. This stands at 30 per cent of all contracts that are given out by the Government that should be given to this group. Persons with disability have been marginalised within the marginalised groups. This is because when issuing those contracts to the three groups, they have been able to give 25 per cent because women have the backing of their husbands. Youth are faster than persons with disability and so they end up having 4.5 per cent. What remains for persons with disability is 0.5 per cent.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Millie Odhiambo, what is out of order?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not know whether the Hon. Member is in order to mislead this House. He has just said that women are advantaged because when they are applying for AGPO they have the backing of their husbands. He is misleading the House by presuming that all the women who are applying for AGPO are married and that their husbands are able. In what we call inter-sectionality, we have women who are disabled who are not married and others who are married with poor husbands. So, is he in order to mislead this House?
Hon. Millie, you are absolutely right. Every woman or man in this country is equal before the law. Hon. Sankok.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was rudely interrupted by Hon. Millie, who is a very good contributor in this House and a very intelligent Member of Parliament. I said that majority of women have the backing of their husbands and therefore they take 25 per cent of the chunk that is supposed to be given to the three groups, 4.5 per cent goes to the youth and only 0.5 per cent remains with the persons with disability. Sometimes the tenders that are given to persons with disability are not economically viable like supply of toothpicks, toilet papers and such things that will not economically empower them. Even on top of supplying, there are still pending bills. Some of these well thought out programmes by our President to empower us have become a curse because some persons with disability have committed suicide. This is because they have borrowed from the banks. They have done the contracts that they have been awarded under AGPO but they are not paid and banks are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
after them. They are being auctioned and some of them have gone into more poverty than when they applied for these tenders. The other issue is that of white elephants. That one has come out very clearly. Apart from the Mtihani House that was started in 1986 and is ongoing and we still allocate money to it; apart from other programmes that allocations have been raised from Kshs 18 million, all the way to Kshs 200 million and we have not yet finished paying, we still have a balance of 70 million, there is this issue of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). The media used to say that the SGR is a rail to nowhere. I did not believe them until I followed Phase 2B of the SGR. It ended up in a remote area called Emurtoto. Emurtoto is one shopping center that has one shop and one butchery. If ‘rail to nowhere’ does not mean that, I do not know what it means.
What would be the reason for a rail to end in a catchment area that has one butchery that is open only on Wednesdays and one small shop? I believe that for economic viability of any infrastructure, be it a road or a rail, it must start from a bigger town, end in a big town so that there will be transportation between the two catchment areas.
The SGR is only 12 kilometers shy of Narok Town, but for the Suswa Economic Zone, we have already constructed 52 kilometers to Emurtoto. The 52 kilometers is a bare misuse. It is open for vandalism. Construction of 12 kilometers would have given the SGR economic viability by opening up the Great Lake Region, Narok, part of the Northern Tanzania, South and Central Rift. It would be transporting wheat, barley, potatoes, animal byproducts, soapstone and even fish from Kisumu. I do not know why it stalled. I plead with the Government and with my President, if I have wronged you in any way, forgive me. Do not punish Narok residents because of some of us. If MPs from that region have joined Tanga Tanga, please do not punish the two million voters from that region because of some of us. Let us have the SGR completed at least to a town, even if it is not to Kisumu, through Bomet and Kisii as envisioned earlier, let it fall where there is road accessibility. Only motorbikes access where the SGR has ended. No vehicle can reach Emurtoto. It is only a motorcycle or a bicycle.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I may be very notorious in speaking my mind, but I still plead with the Government in the name of God, do not punish 6.5 million Kenyans with disability because of me. About Kshs250 million has been chopped from the budget of the National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPWD). This is money that goes to wheelchairs. There are Kenyans with disability crawling on our streets. There is a child with disability soiling their hands as he or she crawls into the dirty pit latrines in our primary schools. He or she will use the same hands to eat food. The self-esteem of that child is lowered and passing exams becomes difficult. Now we are chopping Kshs250 million from persons with disabilities. Around Kshs50 million goes to sunscreen lotion to protect people with albinism from the effect of sunrays. For persons with albinism, sunrays cause cancer. We can no longer protect them because the Government has chopped money from the NCPWD. About Kshs30 million that was chopped was intended for school bursaries for children with disabilities. I want to inform the House that as a person with disability, my only option to succeed in life was education. I could not become a shepherd, or a watchman because they would break my other leg that was a bit stable. I could not also pull a cart. My option was probably to study. If one is blind, they could become a lawyer because the lawyers use their brains and mouth. If one is physically disabled, they could become doctor or a politician. Nowadays, to be an MP you need a degree. So, these people need degrees so that they can come here. Since they are physically disabled, they have their mouth and their brain just the same way I have used my mouth The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
without speed governor here in this House. Unfortunately, their money has been chopped. How will they get education?
Lastly, the commercial attachés. In this country we export nothing and import everything. No wonder, our economy is going down year after year. We need to relook at human resource. One brain channelled to proper use is worth more than all the oil wells in Libya. If we channel our brilliant youth into proper use by exporting labour into the Middle East and other countries... We went to Qatar and found out that they have about 35,000 Kenyan immigrants workers working there. We need to export labour so that we can earn foreign exchange and reduce unemployment. I support this particular Report. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Very well and passionately spoken, Hon. Sankok. I however, believe that the Budget cannot be proposed with the intention to punish certain sections of the population just because of their association. Freedom of association is protected under Article 36 of our own Constitution and every one of us is allowed and free to associate in whatever form that they may wish. So, we cannot budget with the intention to punish certain sections of a population just because they may be associating with people that for the moment, we may not desire that they associate with. So, the budget is our budget and the constraints … the reasons why certain budgets may be reduced may be exigencies of the time. I do not believe it is because of associating with persons that may not be desirable in some quarters. It is the way it is. Hon. Mwakuwona, Hon. Member for Wundanyi.
(Wundanyi, WDM-K). Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this chance to first and foremost support the adoption of the Report of the Budget and Appropriation Committee on the Revenue and the Expenditure Estimates for Financial Year 2021/2022. This morning I am a proud member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. I must congratulate our Chair, Hon. Kanini Kega and all the Members for their sacrifice and commitment for making sure that this Report comes to the House on time. I want to speak about two or three things. This year’s budget is coming at a time when we are faced by a myriad of challenges, one of them being COVID-19. The COVID-19 was unforeseen. The issue of pending bills has been spoken to in this House for quite a while now. I remember about two years ago, our President, His Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta gave a directive that all pending bills needed to be paid as a first charge by Ministries. This item, pending bills, continues to pile and it appears the National Treasury has not found a way of either enforcing or implementing the presidential directive by making sure that pending bills have been paid. Let me speak to the Ministry in charge of infrastructure and roads. We were told through a submission of the Committee Chair that we have in excess of Kshs90 billion in pending bills only on roads infrastructure. These pending bills have negated the ability of the Ministry to award new contracts that are extremely essential for the growth and development of this country. We have leaves that have been advertised, and the projects under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure that need to be awarded to contractors, but because of pending bills, the Ministry is taking its time. They have indicated that they would like to reduce the more than Kshs90 billion pending bills to some considerable level before they award new projects. This brings into perspective these pending bills, and it makes some of us to analyse them. There are areas in this country that are not beneficiaries of the so-called “pending bills”, meaning that the Kshs90 billion or so that have gone into implementing some projects have been found in specific areas or specific regions of this country. I will tell you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have a region called Taita Taveta County that has no single coin of the Kshs90 billion The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
under pending bills. We have other counties that have been marginalised in the same area. Therefore, when we cannot start new projects just because we have pending bills, it means that we are continuing to disenfranchise some communities that have not been benefiting through projects. We have a road that has been advertised just waiting to be awarded. I will give an example. I have a road in my constituency that has been advertised, and the contractor has been identified but the tender cannot be awarded because we are waiting for pending bills to be cleared. I am talking about the Musau-Mbale-Werugha-Bura Road, which is a Kshs2.8 billion project. The reason for the delay in awarding the tender is the pending bills. We would rather increase these pending bills. Let us also be part of the Kenyans who are benefiting from projects. Let us continue adding these pending bills, if we are going to balance and have equity in terms of project implementation. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am happy with my Committee that has indicated that by 1st October 2021 the National Treasury should have come up with a long-term bond so that they can settle these pending bills. This should be respected so that by that time, the National Treasury should float a bond that will pay off all pending bills so that then, as a country, we can start afresh. However, we know we have the issue of debt ceiling. They are saying that we cannot do a new bond for infrastructure because this will require us opening up on the Kshs9 trillion ceiling for our national debt. If opening the debt ceiling will make us get our road awarded quickly; if opening up the debt ceiling will make Kenyans who have been affected by human-wildlife conflict to be paid; if opening up the debt ceiling will make the 70-year old and above get into the safety net; if opening up the debt ceiling will make the tender for projects like Mzima II to be awarded and done, then we are ready and willing to open this ceiling. We cannot live in a country where some areas cannot be developed every time because of reasons of pending bills or national debt ceiling. We must have this conversation as a country. Going forward, the National Treasury must audit all the projects that are done in this country so that we realise equity in project distribution. Finally, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am excited by a policy that has been mentioned by the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Education on recruitment of teachers. In this year's Budget, we have set aside money to hire teachers. As the Departmental Committee on Budget and Appropriations, we realised that it is important. We would rather reduce some money from the infrastructure that is managed by the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Education and have this money going into hiring of teachers. We will have twin objectives that will be realised. Number one, we will have most of our teachers getting employed and two, we will have additional income when it comes to Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and, therefore, achieve our income targets. According to the policy that they are championing, they are saying that 70 per cent of recruitment of teachers must be from the locality of the recruiting entity. So, if we are talking about a county, then 70 per cent of the teachers must come from the local county. Therefore, 30 per cent of teachers should come from outside the county. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have areas where teachers complain that every time recruitment is done, depending on who is in charge of education in that county, 70 per cent of teachers come from outside the county and then 30 per cent from the local community. I can give you an example. We have areas where 90 per cent of all primary school head teachers and their deputies do not come from the local community. This raises a lot of issues. Teachers come to us, as their representatives. They ask us when their children will be employed and yet they have qualifications.
We have some very exciting news in this Budget. I want to thank the Departmental Committee on Education and Research. They brought us a proposal to buy land that is owned by The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Taita Taveta Teachers Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO). It was bought in Kisauni Constituency where my colleague, Hon. Ali Mbogo, comes from. The Budget and Appropriations Committee approved Kshs250 million to settle the people in Kisauni Constituency and pay Taita Taveta Teachers SACCO their money because they bought the land a long time ago. Most of these teachers died. We lost the Chair of Taita Taveta SACCO early this year. These are people who pushed to get their money because their land was used to settle squatters. Today, it is historic that we have put Kshs250 million in this Budget that will be used to settle squatters at Junda Ward in Kisauni Constituency. At the same time, the teachers from my county will get their share, so that they can benefit from their savings.
I finish my contribution by saying that we will support every idea that brings in more money to the State-funded universities. We have universities in this country that do not have enough resources to complete their projects. In the wisdom of my Committee, we allocated Kshs550 million to support Taita Taveta University to finish their mining land project that requires Kshs80 million to be complete. To start with, we have Kshs50 million that will go to the university to make sure that land will be utilised.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
The Chair of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock was here but he did not key in. I will allow him to contribute.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity to say something on the Budget. First, I would like to thank the Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Members for the good work that they have done. I also thank my Committee for the support that they gave us when we were making the Budget and looking at the issues that are there.
Let me talk about agriculture. My colleagues have said that we have a lot of challenges that need to be addressed. As everybody knows, agriculture is the backbone of this economy. It is an area that needs to be looked into. Despite the importance of the agriculture sector and its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic growth, employment, foreign exchange and raw materials for the industrial sector, it is grossly underfunded to the tune of Kshs25.8 billion. Something needs to be done because agriculture is an area that should be looked into.
The sector already has numerous ongoing and stalled projects. Projects take too long to be completed because of low budget allocations and sequent budget cuts. A Member mentioned that we also have a lot of challenges in agriculture because of pending bills. I do not know what we are supposed to do. My colleague has said something. The debt ceiling can be removed to sort out some of these things. Agriculture is an area that we need to look into because of the pending bills. The State department has a lot of pending bills. For example, in the State Department of Livestock, they have a current pending bill of about Kshs4.2 billion. That one goes to Halal Meat Products and Associate Architects Limited who have a pending bill of Ksh25.9 million. In the crop sector, we have a pending bill to the tune of Ksh10 billion. So, I believe that something should be done to address some of these challenges. The crop and cereal sectors have challenges because of that. We are telling the National Treasury that they really need to work on that so that we are able to overcome some of the challenges facing the agricultural sector.
We have some policy recommendations we made in the Committee. The sector already has numerous stalled and ongoing projects as I had said earlier. The National Treasury to provide additional funding to reduce the funding gap in the budget so that the State Department and policies The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
under the sector and direct drivers in the achievement of the Big Four Agenda in addition to the sector being the mainstay of the economy contributing to approximately 61 per cent directly and 34 per cent indirectly, and 27 per cent to the GDP.
The State Department to improve on the efficiency of utilisation of the development budget allocation while adhering to the relevant laws to ensure the projects are completed within the planned duration and expected returns and service to achieve the soonest.
On the overall expenditure of the project, the programme resulting from budget cuts under the 2021 Supplementary Budget Estimates, the Committee proposes that this is regularised in the proposed 2021 Supplementary Estimates.
I also want to touch a little bit on the additional requests that we were looking at. We believe that the National Treasury allocated Ksh1.5 million for the post COVID-19 economic stimulus programme which was reallocated and we felt that agriculture being an area that grew especially at that very tough moment, ought to deserve that. Agriculture is a sector that needs to be looked into. We are suffering because of pending bills and we need to look into them.
Let me end there. Thank you so much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Let us hear Hon. Aseka, the Member for Khwisero.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me take this opportunity, first of all, to thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee for a job well done. One of the key aspects of budgeting is the adherence to Article 221 of the Constitution and conduct public participation. They have confirmed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, they did it virtually and received memoranda from the public.
I draw the attention of the House to two observations. One is the issue of the pending bills which is time the Executive and the National Treasury put their feet down and addressed it. Pending bills slow down the economic growth. They also inhibit performance of ministries. You cannot measure the output in our Government ministries and semi-autonomous Government agencies. So it is an aspect the National Treasury should look into.
I also look at the stalled projects as a challenge and sometimes we wonder why ministries and the Executive initiate new projects without completing the existing ones. A case in point is one in Khwisero Constituency where we have a project of the sub-county education office and director’s office which was to be done in 2015 but up to now the project is at the lintel. It has not been factored in any budget and this is an eyesore to the Government and even the ministry. To attain this, I advise the ministry and the National Treasury to come up and do monitor projects implementation. By so doing, they will know the projects that are on course and those outside the contractual period and make adjustments when they do the Budget. Lastly, in supporting the budget, the Government should also look at other alternative ways of supporting these projects. As the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning said, we should look at implementation of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in many of these projects, and the Government should purchase or buy to reduce some cost.
With that, I support the Report. Thank you.
Hon. Obo Mohamed, Member for Lamu.
Asante sana, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipatia nafasi ili nizungumzie haya Makadirio ya Bajeti. Mwanzo, napongeza Kamati ya Bajeti na Uidhinishaji wa Matumizi. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Katika hiki kitengo cha kwanza cha Executive Office of the President, wanafaa kupewa pesa zaidi na hata hicho kipeo chao kinafaa kuongezwa juu zaidi kwa sababu kinafanya kazi nyingi nzuri. Katika State Department of Interior and Citizen Services, kipeo chao kikipelekwa juu zaidi itakuwa vizuri kwa sababu bado tunatarajia kazi iwe nzuri zaidi. Hii ni kwa sababu kuna sehemu zingine kama kule kwetu, Kaunti ya Lamu, bado kuna watu hawajapata vitambulisho kwa miaka mitatu sasa. Wanazo stakabadhi zile za kungojea vitambulisho. Kama hiyo pesa ni kidogo, kazi haifanyiki vizuri. Kwa hivyo, hata wakiongezewa siyo vibaya. Bora kazi ifanyike. Sisi watu wa Lamu pia ni Wakenya kama Wakenya wengine. Kwa hivyo, ule muda ambao unamchukua mtu wa Nairobi kupata kitambulisho ndio unafaa achukuwe mtu wa Lamu kupata kitambulisho. Ningependa pia kuzungumzia Wizara ya Ulinzi. Kusema kweli, sisi kule Lamu ndio tunaona kazi yao kwa vile tuko katika mpaka. Wanafanya kazi nzuri na huwa tunawatarajia kutupitisha katika sehemu zingine ambazo hatuwezi pita pekee yetu. Kwa hivyo, kama kuna pesa zinatakikana, wapewe hata zaidi. Kazi yao ni nzuri na tunawapongeza sana. Ningependa kuzungumzia kuhusu maji. Maji ni uhai. Hii Wizara ya Maji, Usafi na Umwagiliaji hata wakiomba pesa nyingi wanafaa wapewe. Kipeo chao kinafaa kuenda juu ili wapate kuomba hata nyingi zaidi kwa sababu bado kuna sehemu zingine hapa Kenya ambazo watu bado wako na matatizo ya maji. Tunajua maji ni muhimu kwa binadamu. Huko Lamu kuna mipango ambayo imekua kwenye vitabu zaidi ya miaka kumi ya kuvuta maji kutoka Mto Tana mpaka Lamu. Kwa hivyo, wanatarajia kuwa katika mipango hiyo. Hizi pesa wameomba zitashughulikia maslahi ya Lamu kwa sababu ilikuwa katika mipango. Wakiweza kuleta maji Lamu basi tutakuwa tumetatua matatizo ambayo tuko nayo huko. Tatizo letu kubwa zaidi hivi sasa ni ukosefu wa maji. Bandari iko na wageni watakuja wengi lakini tuko na shida ya maji. Wageni wakija wengi zaidi, hatutakuwa na maji. Hata hivyo, naona Rais alizungumzia jambo hilo alipokuwa Lamu. Waziri pia alizungumza na tumeona katika magazeti. Rais alituambia kwamba wataangalia vile watasaidia upande wa maji ili tuweze kijipanga na ile Bandari ya Lamu. Nataka kuzungumza kuhusu afya. Hizi pesa zilizopangwa kwa afya, wenzangu watakubaliana nami kuwa zinafaa kupangwa zaidi kwa sababu afya ndiyo kila kitu. Tukizingatia afya hapa Kenya, basi tutakuwa tumebadilisha maisha ya binadamu kwa sababu afya inaingilia pande nyingi. Sikuwa naelewa ni vipi Wizara ya Afya na Wizara ya Uchukuzi, Miundombinu, Makazi, Maendeleo ya Mijini na Ujenzi wa Miradi ya Umma zinaweza kuingiliana lakini baada ya kupelekwa kusoma, tumeona afya iko kila upande. Hata Bungeni afya iko. Ukienda kwa usafirishaji, afya iko. Afya iko kila mahali! Kwa hivyo tukizingatia afya, tutakuwa tumetatua shida za Wakenya. Kwa hiyo, sekta ya afya inafaa iangaliwe vizuri na ipewe pesa nzuri lakini pia wale ambao wanashika hizo pesa wanafaa kuzitumia inavyotakikana ili tusije tukaharibiana majina. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ninasikitishwa kidogo pia na Wizara ya Kilimo upande wa blue
Haina pesa mingi. Wizara hii inafaa kujijenga kama vile kuwa na maofisi. Blue economy ikiangaliwa vizuri tunaweza kuandika vijana wengi kazi. Lamu, kwa mfano, itaajiri watu wengi. Ninaona pesa kidogo imewekwa na kisha tunasema tunataka kukuza blue economy. Hiyo pesa kidogo pia hatuioni. Nilitarajia iwekwe pesa nyingi ili tuone viwanda vya samaki vikiekeza. Kwa kufanya hivyo, ndio kukuza blue economy sio tu kwa kutafiti kila siku na hatuoni mambo yakiendelea. Nilitarajia kuwa Kamati Kuu ya The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Kilimo ingeweka hapa ceiling kubwa na kuzungumzia mambo mengi ambayo yanataka kufanya upande. Tungeandika vijana wengi sana, na bado tuko na uwezo. Tuko na Kaunti tano za Pwani na pia kule upande wa Ziwa Victoria na Ziwa Naivasha. Tunaweza jipanga vizuri na blue economy na ikatuondolezea shida kubwa ya ukosefu wa kazi. Ningependa kuwapa wenzangu nafasi na kwa sababu ninaona masaa yameenda. Asante.
Ningependa kumpea nafasi Mhe. Mboni, Mjumbe wa Kitui Katikati.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also contribute. I would also like to thank the Committee for a work well done. Despite the challenges due to Covid-19, the 2021/2022 Budget is the biggest in the history of this country at Kshs3.66 trillion. At the same time, it has the biggest deficit of Kshs900 billion. The total revenue projected is Kshs2 trillion and the other revenue basically from taxes is Kshs1.776. These revenue projections are based on economic recovery and stable micro-economic environment. The GDP is projected to grow at 6.3 percent and is supported by stable economic environment, domestic and external demands. However, I have a problem with this projection. Historically, the growth of Kenya after experiencing low economic growth… There is no way the economy can grow at 6.3 per cent. In the Year 2000, the economy grew by 0.6 per cent. The Year 2001, the country grew by 3.8 percent. The Year 2008, the economy grew by 0.2 per cent. In 2009, it grew by 3.3 per cent. Last year, the economy grew by negative 0.4 percent. This year, there is no way this economy can grow by 6.3 percent. If these assumptions are not going to be achieved at 6.3 percent, improved domestic and external demand, we are likely to have a huge revenue shortfall and budget deficit; more borrowing and high public debt. We have to be very careful. I have been telling the National Treasury that they have to be very careful when it comes to projections. It is high time we funded planning activities in this country. I think it is because they are using their thoughts to project the figures, and they are not good for this country. We should note that the tax revenue, as a percentage of GDP, has been very low since 2013. It declined from 25 per cent then to 17 per cent currently. The recommended percentage is 20 per cent. That way, the country can fund all these activities. We need to note that there are only three sectors which contribute to 52 per cent of tax revenue. These are manufacturing, Information Communication Technology (ICT), and banking and insurance sectors. The Government should come up with tax policies and measures to raise tax revenues from other sectors. Otherwise, these sectors are over taxed. In fact, currently there is a lot of smuggling of beer and cigarettes into this country. This is because taxes on beer and cigarettes have really gone up and, therefore, people are taking beer and cigarettes from other countries whose tax regimes are lower. Continuing to tax these industries may force some companies to relocate to where the tax regimes are favourable. If they relocate, we will lose jobs, household incomes, and revenues. If these companies relocate we will not collect Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE). We are going to miss corporate tax and therefore our GDP is also going to go down and we will have more problems. We have seen Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) struggling to raise revenue. Moreover, these problems are because of low funding by the Government. The KRA should be funded. In fact, they are telling us that if you give them one shilling they are going to raise Kshs100. The KRA needs to be funded to buy scanners for use at the border posts, modernise The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
their ICT services and recruit more staff and train them so that they can collect revenue more efficiently. The country should go for concessionary loans, which are cheaper and have a long repayment period so that we do not strain the Exchequer. The country should also move quickly to embrace PPP projects. This concept was introduced in the country 10 years ago but since then we have had only two PPP projects. The current one, which is on-going, is the Expressway along Mombasa Road. We need more of these projects so that at least we can reduce pressure on the Exchequer. I like the observations and recommendations made by the Committee, one of them being on the pending Bills which currently stand at Kshs90 billion. These pending Bills are crippling businesses. They are causing havoc to business people. Moreover, many businesses have gone under because of pending bills. The Committee recommends the setting up of a Fund to settle existing verified pending bills and court awards. I think this is a very good recommendation if it means taking concessional loans to pay these debts. I think that would be the way to go. The second recommendation of the Committee is that stalled projects should be completed before any Government Ministry, Department and Agency (MDAs) start new ones. If we have a project which we have started and it is not benefiting this country, it is a loss. In addition, we are undertaking most of these projects through loans. We service a loan when the country is not benefiting from the project. To me this is a very important recommendation. Another recommendation is on duplication of functions. This is a song we have been singing all through. You find a Government Department doing the same thing that is being done by another Department. Moreover, there are staff and financial commitments to those Departments. Therefore, rationalisation and streamlining of functions to eliminate duplication should be undertaken. In addition, this country should be able to save many resources. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this is a terrible thing because SDGs are very instrumental in poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth. The National Treasury should come up with plans on how they will fund these projects so that, at least, we reduce poverty which is at very high levels currently.
With those few remarks, I support.
Hon. Members, the time being 1:00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until today Wednesday, 9th June 2021 at 2:30 p.m.
The House rose at 1: 00 p.m.
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