By Reuben Olita
Busia County Assembly this evening unanimously approved the report on the Busia County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Supplementary Budget Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year 2021/2022.
The passage of the long awaited document, although with amendments, will effectively unlock implementation of development projects once the Governor, H.E Sospeter Ojaamong enacts it into law.
Upon review of the budget and adjustments made by the Budget and Appropriations Committee, the development expenditure of the County Government amounts to 44.4 percent of the budget allocation while the recurrent budget amounts to 55.6% of the total budget expenditure of Ksh.10.052billion.
Notable in the report is an increase on the projection of the county’s own source revenue from Ksh.499.8million in the approved budget to Ksh.798.5m in the supplementary budget.
The committee noted that the increase in projection was occasioned by increase in major revenue streams including, transit produce cess, hospital user fees, funds from NHIF, trailer and parking fees, Agricultural Training Centre, land rates, plot rent, machine hire, single business permit, drilling rig, market stalls, charcoal fees, health sector fund and market fees among others.
In defending the increase in projection on local revenue, Finance Executive, Phaustine Barasa explained that the department intended to achieve the said projection by:-
Utilising the newly recruited permanent and pensionsionsble revenue officers, enhance the use of automation machines in revenue collection and rolling out the valuation roll that will enable collection of land rates.
The allocation for ward based projects for the financial year 2021/2022 adds to a total sum of Ksh.525m ( Sh23.1m as bursaries and Ksh.501.9m as development projects in all other departments.
The allocation for pending bills arising out of ward projects adds to a sum of 500.9m. Budget vice chair and Chakol North MCA, Julius Otieng had tabled the report seconded by Grace Olita (Angurai South).
The BAC chairman, Hon. Linus Asiba urged the County Treasury to fast track the implementation and execution of the budget once it has been enacted into law to maximise absorption rates.
Hon Julius Ochou (Marachi East) said he backs Busia Governor, H.E Sospeter Ojaamong who wants to leave a legacy, noting that this will come to pass if these projects are executed in good time.
“I will lead a crusade to ensure my colleagues will not proceed on recess in December if ward based projects have not started,” he said.
Others who contributed in support of the supplementary budget included Casper Ajuma (Bunyala South), Benard Papa (Malaba Central), Moses Ochieng (Burumba), Eric Kaibe (Kingandole) and Patrick Obuya (Marachi Central).