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Blue Economy Committe

๐—–๐—ข๐— ๐— ๐—œ๐—ง๐—ง๐—˜๐—˜ ๐—ข๐—ก ๐—•๐—Ÿ๐—จ๐—˜ ๐—˜๐—–๐—ข๐—ก๐—ข๐— ๐—ฌ, ๐—ช๐—”๐—ง๐—˜๐—ฅ ๐—”๐—ก๐—— ๐—œ๐—ฅ๐—ฅ๐—œ๐—š๐—”๐—ง๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก ๐— ๐—˜๐—˜๐—ง๐—ฆ ๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—”๐—ง๐—˜ ๐——๐—˜๐—ฃ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ง๐— ๐—˜๐—ก๐—ง ๐—ข๐—ฉ๐—˜๐—ฅ ๐—•๐—จ๐——๐—š๐—˜๐—ง ๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐— ๐—”๐—ง๐—˜๐—ฆ ๐—”๐—ก๐—— ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ/๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฐ ๐—ฆ๐—จ๐—ฃ๐—ฃ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐— ๐—˜๐—ก๐—ง๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ฌ ๐—œ๐—œ ๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐— ๐—”๐—ง๐—˜๐—ฆ

The Departmental Committee on Blue Economy, Water and Irrigation chaired by Hon. Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), have raised concerns over serious budget cuts in the allocations to Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs) under the State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries.

ย The Principal Secretary of the State Department, Ms. Betsy Njagi, appeared before the Committee on Monday, May 20, 2024 to brief Members on the budget estimates for the Financial Year 2024/25 and the Financial Year 2023/24 Supplementary II Estimates.

ย During the engagement, Members noted that although the FY 2023/24 Supplementary II Estimates did not propose any changes to the overall recurrent expenditure for the State Department, there was an internal adjustment of Kshs.9 million, being 100 percent reduction from the Kenya Fisheries Advisory Council (KFAC) and a re-allocated to State Department headquarters.

ย On the other hand, FY 2023/24 Supplementary II Estimates proposes to decrease the development expenditure of the department by Kshs.1.45 billion which will in turn affect projects like Aqua Business Development Projects under the headquarters which has a reduction of Kshs.500million equivalent to 19 percent and Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development Project (KEMSFED) which has a reduction of Kshs.653 million equivalent to 18 percent.

ย โ€œHow is this KFAC going to survive without any budget allocations? Are you planning to disband it? How are the KEMSFED staffs going to operate without medical insurance,โ€ Hon. Bowen asked.

ย In response, the PS told the Committee that they were not consulted before the cuts were made and were equally surprised. He however told Members that he has written a letter to the PS Treasury asking him to address the matter.

ย โ€œWe were equally surprised by the cuts and they were done without us being consulted. I have, however, written to the PS for the Treasury asking him to address the issue of budget cuts in relation to the staff medical scheme,โ€ Ms. Njagi said.

ย However, Kisumu West MP, Hon. Rozaah Buyu ย proposed that a decision had to be made on whether to have SAGAs as an avenue ย for staff to earn salaries without output or allocate them funds for development expenditure and have output.

ย โ€œThe only money availed to the Ministry is recurrent expenditure and nothing on development. Going forward the Ministry must be allowed to decide how to use the money allocated to them,โ€ she said.

ย The State Department has been allocated Kshs. 2.32 billion for recurrent expenditure which will be funded from Appropriations-in-Aid (AIA) of Kshs. 70 million and GoK Exchequer funding of Kshs. 2. 25 billion. This is a decrease of Kshs. 504.7 million as compared to the expenditure estimates for FY 2023/24, and is as a result of a reduction in GoK Exchequer funding.

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