A report from the Controller of Budget for the first quarter of 2018-19 shows that the devolved units are supposed to collect Sh50 billion in own revenue sources (ORS) during the period to meet their financial needs.
Counties will have to face huge pending bills by the end of the current financial year if checks are not in place to improve on revenue collection.
The Sh50 billion forms part of the Sh450 billion the 47 counties need to facilitate their plans in the 2018-19 budget. Some of the counties needs are in development, which gobbles up to 39.5 per cent of the budget, and recurrent expenditure, which takes up to 60 per cent of the budget.
In order to finance the budget, county governments expect to receive Sh314 billion as an equitable share of revenue raised nationally, Sh25.5 billion in conditional grants from the National Government, Sh33.24 billion as conditional grants from Development Partners, and generate Sh50.06 billion from their own sources of revenue, and Sh48.36 billion cash balance from FY 2017/18.
“A lot more needs to be done if counties are to achieve their financial targets in the current financial year. We have seen an improvement of above 50 per cent compared to a similar period in the 2017-18 financial year,” notes Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo.
“The improvement is however low compared to the annual target of Sh50 billion leaving the devolved units exposed to financial challenges,” she adds. “This is why we need more innovative ways to help the counties meet their collection targets.”
According to her, the counties had collected Sh7.41 billion, representing 14.8 per cent of the annual target of Sh50.06 billion during the first three months of the current financial year, an increase of 55 per cent from Sh4.82 billion realised in the same period of FY 2017/18.