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Proposed programs and projects under the State Department of National Treasury and that of Economic Planning came under sharp focus, when they appeared before the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning to defend their budgets.

Also appearing before the Committee for consideration of their Budget Estimates were the Office of the Controller of Budget and the Financial Reporting Center

Led by Dr.Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary, officials from the National Treasury outlined the programs for the Ministry to be undertaken in the Financial Year 2023/2024.

They expounded their role in revenue collection and economic transformation amidst the pace of monetary policy tightening.

Committee Members expressed concerns over a number of issues.

Speaking on the need for pensioners to get their payout on time, the Committee Chairperson Hon. Kimani Kuria proposed the development of a system to ensure a smooth transition and to prevent delay of disbursement of pension funds upon retirement.

On his part, Kigumo MP, Hon. Joseph Munyoro expressed concerns over currency volatility, while Hon. Mboni tasked the team to elucidate the implications owing to reduced of financial support to Kenya Airways during 2023/2024 Financial Year.

With regard to the management of Kenya’s Public Debt, the National Treasury presented a proposal to abandon the current numerical debt ceiling framework for a debt anchor at 55 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as part of their ongoing fiscal reforms agenda.

Committee Member, Hon. Andrew Adipo however challenged the Ministry to disburse funds to other ministries and county governments to improve liquidity.

The State Department for Economic planning which focusses on overall policy direction, economic planning and development also had a sit down with the Committee.

Baringo North MP, Hon. Joseph Makilap sought to know the mechanism that the State Department uses to measure if the plans laid out by the Government are successful and successfully implemented.

Concerned about gender mainstreaming in economic planning and budgeting, Committee Member, Hon. (Dr) John Ariko asked the team led by the Principal Secretary, Mr. James Muhati to factor in gender considerations in budget making and in their other key operations.

 On his part, Hon. Paul Biego told the State Department to consider devolving to the counties so as to strengthen and support county planning. He also urged the State Department to consider taking a statistical study of the implementation of laid out plans.

The Office of the Controller of Budget (OCOB) led by CPA (Dr) Margaret Nyakang’a also made their Budget Estimates’ presentation to the Committee. She appealed to the Committee to review her Office’s budget so as to facilitate the delivery of its mandate in ensuring timely authorization of withdrawals of public funds and in providing accurate performance reporting.

Later in the day, it was the turn of the Financial Reporting Centre, to appear before the Committee. The Director General, Mr Saitoti Maika told the Committee that the Centre established through the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, became operational in the year 2012 as Kenya’s Financial Intelligence Unit. The Centre’s objectives are combating money laundering and assisting in the identification of proceeds of crime.

The Members were informed that there is a Recovery Fund which is established under Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Regulations ,2019, where recovered funds  are deposited. Officials from the Centre also apprised the legislators on the measures they have put in place to prevent money laundering. 

Committee Chairman,, Hon. Kuria Kimani however tasked the Centre to come up with a legislation for the protection of whistle blowers.

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