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Deficit reflects our needs, says dep. governor

14 August 2013, 14:00 Dareel Eric

Vihiga deputy governor Caleb Amaswache has said that the budget deficit that the county has reflects the needs of the county and can be cushioned through the help of the central government.

Amaswache noted that the KES 6.2 billion that the county has proposed for the financial year 2013/2014 has been underfunded by the Treasury amid the wanting levels of poverty and unemployment in the county.

“Vihiga has poverty level of 62 percent and 67 percent unemployment. So if the national government is only allocating us KES 3.1 billion, it is clearly sending signals that it does not want to help us,” noted the deputy governor.   

He said that having a budget deficit reflects how the county is in dire need of help from the central government and should be supported, because they put all the justifications in it.

Budget deficit of 91 percent

In a report released by the Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA), Vihiga County was ranked as the first with the biggest budget deficit of 91 percent.

The county can only generate KES 200 million yet it intends to spend KES 6.2 billion and thus has a deficit of KES 2.9 billion as it was only allocated KES 3.1 billion by the by the Treasury.

“It is the responsibility of the national government and the CRA to raise the deficit because we have all the justifications that the money will be used more on development expenditure than recurrent expenditure,” said Amaswache.

He further said that the central government should not castigate the counties for exposing their weaknesses, but rather help them to dress the problems.

“If we only worked on the KES 3.1 billion allocated by the Treasury, there could be no need of having a county government to help the people at the grassroots level,” he said.

He indicated that the core needs of the county cannot be met on a paltry budget of KES 3.1 billion.

He said that they have identified donors from whom they will borrow to curb the deficit, but urged the government to help them by guaranteeing the loans.

Vihiga Senator George Khaniri, while commenting on the issue through a phone conversation, said that he was outside the country and will seek its redress immediately he lands in the country.

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