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State to clear pending bills, National Treasury assures

By Mercy Mwai
Friday, July 24th, 2020
National Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary
    • The national government has so far cleared 90 per cent of its pending bills, the county governments have so far cleared 75 per cent of their debt.
    • Treasury issued a circular to CSs and accounting officers in mid June threatening to take action against officials who are yet to settle their obligations.

The government has assured it will clear all pending bills as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

National Treasury Principal Secretary  Julius Muia said the government is mobilising resources to ensure it clears all debts as this will go a long way towards revamping the economy that is currently facing challenges due to effects of coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Muia said that both the national and county governments have cleared more than 75 per cent of their pending bills.

Three categories

He explained that while the national government has so far cleared 90 per cent of its pending bills, the county governments have so far cleared 75 per cent of their debts.

“Clearing pending bills has been an area of focus. We have been making money available to pay pending bills in an effort to jumpstart the economy,” he said.

Muia said that the pending bills fall under three categories including what the ministries, State corporations and government agencies and county governments owe.

With respect to state corporations and state agencies, Muia said the government was still calculating how much money the government has so far paid.

With respect to government’s projects so far commenced by the government, he said the government has released Sh60 billion to road contractors undertaking infrastructure projects across the country.

Regarding the Kazi Mtaani programme, which is part of the Sh57 billion economic stimulus pit package, Muia said that the program is going on well despite the challenges it has so far faced.

He said the government will next focus on small and medium enterprises, tourism and agriculture sectors.

“We have 300,000 youths participating in the programme. We have had a few technical hitches but we are working with Safaricom to solve the challenges. There is more than enough money for that programme,” he added.

Circular issued

The move comes after National Treasury issued a circular to Cabinet Secretaries and accounting officers in mid June threatening to take action against officials who are yet to settle their obligations despite receiving budgetary allocations from the Exchequer.

“State corporations are required to pay all unremitted sacco deductions as well as loan deductions.

This is on top of all statutory deductions including Pay As You Earn, National Social Security Fund, National Hospital Insurance Fund and pension arrears,” said the circular.

The ministry instructed government accounting officers to make pending bills the first item of expenditure on their budgets for the 2020-21 financial year.

Auditor General’s report for the year ending 2018 said the government had Sh137 billion in pending bills out of which county governments owed Sh100 billion to various entities in both the private and public sectors.

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