10 sectors hold fulcrum to Ruto economic plans

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 07:20 | By
President William Ruto during a past function. PHOTO/William Ruto(@WilliamsRuto)/X
President William Ruto during a past function. PHOTO/William Ruto(@WilliamsRuto)/X

Ten sectors hold the key to the realisation of President William Ruto’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

A report from Parliament says the sectors include education with an allocation of Sh628.6 billion, energy, infrastructure and ICT (Sh532.4 billion), public administration and international relations (Sh310.2 billion), governance, justice, law and order (Sh230.4 billion), national security (Sh189.2 billion), health (Sh141.2billion), environment protection, water and natural resources (Sh120.6 billion), agriculture, rural and urban development (Sh86.9 billion), social protection, culture and recreation (Sh70.6 billion) as well as general economic and commercial affairs (Sh61.4 billion).

The report compiled by the Parliamentary Budget Office (BPO) shows that in the energy sector, Infrastructure and ICT, Housing and Settlement, Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy will be the key drivers while provision of quality and affordable healthcare will be the key driver in the health sector.

In Agriculture, Rural and Urban Development and Agriculture Transformation and Inclusive Growth have been identified as the key drivers while in the Social Protection, Culture and Recreation sector, the key drivers have been identified as Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy.

In the General Economic and Commercial Affairs, transforming the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Economy will play a key role.

Report shows that the 10 sectors will consume the largest share of the expenditures in the 2023/24 Financial Year whose budget stands at Sh2.37 trillion comprising Sh1.56 trillion or 66 per cent of the total budget for recurrent expenditure and Sh807.6 billion (34 per cent of total budget) for development expenditure that will go towards fund 81 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

According to the report, the big spenders include education (26 per cent of total budget), energy, Infrastructure and Information Communication and Technology (22 per cent), public administration and international relations (13 per cent) and governance, justice, law and order (10 per cent.) “The sectoral expenditures are aligned to the government’s policies underpinned by Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) whose objective is to improve the livelihoods and welfare of Kenyans. The BETA identified five thematic areas that are expected to have the highest impact at the bottom of the economy, and 12 enablers that will assist in actualisation of the thematic areas,” the report.

In the education sector whose budget will be driven by four MDAs among them the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) with an allocation of Sh323.8 billion; State Department for Basic Education (Sh147.8 billion) and State Department for Higher Education and Research (Sh128.6 billion), the report notes that the sector supports BETA through Education and Training as it seeks to address inequalities in the education system to level the playing field or all children irrespective of their backgrounds.

 Human capital

The aim, the report adds, is to also provide adequate human capital that is responsive to the demands of the labour market.

It says the national government plans to support the education sector as a BETA enabler through a number of interventions including expansion of infrastructure, training on digital skills, funding of Junior Secondary School (JSS) learners, reforming higher education funding model, expansion of school feeding programme and the operationalisation of the Open University during this financial year.

Energy, Infrastructure and ICT sector whose programmes will be implemented by nine MDAs with the largest shares going to the State Department for Roads at Sh250.8 billion, the State Department for Housing and Urban Development (Sh93.8 billion), State Department for Energy (Sh63.1 billion ), and, State Department for Transport (Sh60.4 billion), will support the bottom up agenda through the thematic area of Housing and Settlement as it targets to reduce the proliferation of slums and hence preserve human dignity, the report says.

It notes that achieving the housing deficit remains one of the government’s primary priorities under Ruto’s agenda due to the current imbalance between the demand and supply of affordable houses as well as the potential role that the construction industry can play towards job creation and economic growth.

 The sector also seeks to support Ruto’s agenda under the thematic area of Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy by increasing productivity and competitiveness by eliminating information asymmetry in market access and risk management.

“The sector is expected to act as a BETA enabler of Infrastructure with a target to intensify national connectivity through road, rail, port, energy and fibre-optic infrastructure so as to foster an enabling environment for economic recovery and inclusive growth,” adds the report.

Keep an eye

To ensure successful implementation of the sector, the budget office, however, told MPs to keep an eye on the issue of housing by keenly following on the progress of the construction and delivery of the affordable housing units so that they can be aware of the number of units completed against the intended target.

On transport and infrastructure, the report notes that prioritised maintenance of rural roads through gravelling to provide rural access to markets, farms, product collection centres and ease mobility within the rural set up is expected to enable the citizens at the bottom to experience a positive economic and social change while in the energy sector, the completion of the priority projects will offer the country an opportunity to move closer towards the goal of achieving universal access to electricity as well as provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, competitive, reliable and secure energy.

Under Governance, Justice, Law and Order whose funds will be utilised by 16 MDAs, National Police Service got the largest share at  Sh106.5 billion.

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