CS Treasury Ukur Yattani with select committee. PHOTO | STAR
CS Treasury Ukur Yattani with select committee. PHOTO | STAR

Treasury Cabinet secretary Ukur Yattani faults the Star Newspaper and its affiliates owned by Radio Africa Group for deceiving Kenyans about Sh 40 Billion expenditure on Coronavirus.

CS Yattani says the Sh 40 Billion was the budget in appropriation and it was to be discussed and passed by the Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations. The money has not been disbursed yet. The cash that is being used is from the terminated budgets from the government departments, Donations and pay cuts.

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The true position is that the Treasury has allocated Sh40.3 billion to manage COVID-19 but this money has not yet been disbursed. Treasury has however already disbursed Sh13 billion for SME support and payment of pending bills which is out of Sh 40 Billion budget.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Ukur Yatani, met the Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations on Wednesday.

“We have provided Sh40.3 billion on the naval virus mitigation which comprises Sh33.4 billion under recurrent and Sh6.9 billion under development,” Yatani told the committee.

CS Yattani noted the measures taken by the government since the first case was reported 41 days ago.

Government has reduced VAT from 16 to 14 per cent, provided 100 per cent relief to persons earning gross monthly income up to Sh24,000, and reduced personal income tax from 30 to 25 per cent. However, KRA maintains that has not taken any effect until the legislature approves. It is still a bill.

The CS further explained that the government had provided Sh10 billion for cash transfer to the elderly, suspended CRB listings, paid pending bills worth sh 13.1 billion, allocated sh 1 billion to Universal Health Care, and implemented voluntary salary reduction of salaries by senior government officials led by the President, Deputy President, CSs and Principal Secretaries.

The CS added that part of the Sh40 billion will be spent on interventions to mitigate against flooding and associated emergencies.

Yatani pointed out that Parliament only approved the supplementary estimates on Wednesday.

“With the passage of the supplementary estimates, we are going to release pending bills. We are going to fast-track the payment of VAT refunds. These are plans and have not been achieved but will be put in place from today going forward.”

“Those measures have legal implications and can only be rolled out after Parliament goes through them. The entire allocation goes not just to the pandemic but to cross-sectoral issues,” Yatani said.

" I understand that the Star has apologised on the fake article about Sh 40 Billion but we need to be accountable, " he concluded. 

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