The Meru County Government has Sh10.5 billion to cover its recurrent and development needs for the 2021/2022 financial year, with a total of Sh7, 744.539, 568, or 70 percent of the budget going to recurrent expenditure. That means Sh3.3 billion will be pumped to development projects.
Sh5, 160, 933, 820 will go towards salaries for the government employees, and Sh2, 583, 605, 748 is directed towards goods and services.
The executive, through its supplementary budget covering the first quarter, sought to bridge the shortfalls.
In the supplementary budget, the executive proposed, and got the approval of the Assembly, to settle Sh978, 954, 807 in pending bills through a monthly payment plan.
This was to ease the pressure exerted to settle the claims from the suppliers and the national government.
The development expenditure of the County Assembly is to be increased by Sh28m, to facilitate the construction of the Speaker’s residence.
The Executive also allocated Sh20 million to the Department of Public Service and Administration, to purchase furniture and fittings for the Governor’s official residence nearing completion.
But while that is so, in Meru the ward reps have fired a warning to Executives in departments that they claimed were not committing funds to development.
Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Mwirigi cited Education as one of the more notorious departments that were delaying committing development expenditure.
Mr Mwirigi who spoke when the Assembly dispensed with the first supplementary budget for the current financial year, threatened punitive measures against departments that were only committing funds covering the recurrent expenditure but failing to exhibit the same enthusiasm on development money.
The reps said next year being an election year, they wanted to see bursaries, roads, water and other development monies spent.
Mr Mwirigi (Abogeta East) said residents were impatient with the delay in issuance of contracts for the various projects in the wards.
“Some CECs seem keen to commit (funds) to recurrent more than development,” he said.
The Governor Kiraitu Murungi administration has picked agriculture and health provision as key priority areas.
Finance Executive Titus Ntuchiu told the County Assembly the county executive does not have any plans to borrow money.
The health department has been allocated Sh3.5 billion while Roads, Transport and Energy got Sh888, 581.
The education department has been allocated Sh747, 399 while Public Service, Administration, and Legal Affairs received Sh967, 564.
Others are Trade, Tourism and Cooperative (Sh254, 193), Agriculture (Sh663, 700,), County Assembly (Sh975, 220, 000), Water (Sh626, 356), and Land, Physical Planning and Urban Development (Shh442, 109).
The administration plans to spend Sh63, 647 on Environment, Wildlife, and Natural Resources, Sh171, 795 on Youth and Sports, and Sh898, 383 in the Finance, Economic Planning, and ICT department.
The ward reps will have Sh460 million for projects, while the County Public Service board got Sh45 million.
Level Five hospitals will have Sh373, 872 to work with, while the conditional allocation for the development of youth polytechnics stands at Sh58.2m.
The devolved unit plans to use Sh36.4m World Bank loan will be used transform health systems for universal health care.