Treasury refutes claims that government is broke

Written By: Margaret Kalekye/KNA
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Rotich told senators the government has suffered a revenue shortfall of Ksh84 billion
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Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Henry Rotich has refuted claims appearing in a section of the print media that the government is broke.

Rotich described the media reports as sensational reporting.

Rotich claimed that he was misquoted insisting that whoever doubts what he said should replay the clip and show where he said that the government is broke.

“The government is never broke and the reporting was fake, I want somebody to play that clip and show me where I said the government is broke,” said Rotich.

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Speaking Thursday at the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) meeting at the KICC during the World Women day, Rotich said that he just arrived from Europe with Ksh200 billion gotten through the Eurobond and there is no way a government can be broke with that kind of money available for use.

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“There is no way investors can give a broke government money and the story does not add up,” explained Rotich adding that the success from the Eurobond shows the confidence that foreigners have in our economy and as locals, we should exude the same confidence.

“We might have fallen short of our tax collection targets because there are some risks and factors, in the first half of the financial year. We had a prolonged election period which slowed down business activities thus affecting tax collection but that doesn’t mean that the government is broke,” he said.

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While responding to queries whether the government will be able to pay those who have done business under AGPO, Rotich said that government is the safest entity to do business with.

“The government is a risk-free business, all the T-bills and Bonds we get is because people trust government, I was very clear in parliament and Kenyans should not be worried,” insisted Rotich.

On Wednesday, Treasury appealed to parliament to review the division of revenue act and reduce allocation to counties by Ksh17 billion.

Treasury is proposing that the allocation is adjusted downwards from Ksh 302billion to Ksh 285 billion.

Rotich told the senators the government has suffered a revenue shortfall of Ksh84 billion compelling it to cut expenditure.

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“We are running short of revenue. There was a slowdown in business activities because of elections but we are now catching up,” said Rotich.

Senators, however, registered their protest against the idea of reducing county funds and asked the Treasury to engage the Kenya revenue authority in addressing the revenue deficit.

The senators also grilled the Treasury bosses on disparities in the disbursement of funds to counties with some having received 57 pc of their allocation while others 33 pc.

With only 42 pc of county funds disbursed three months to end of financial year, Treasury wants county governments to also prepare supplementary appropriations bill to cut on expenditure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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