The Treasury has reversed budget cuts for the National Youth Service (NYS) whose funding was slashed last year following two corruption scandals.
The NYS allocation has been increased from Sh7.8 billion to Sh12.6 billion, a 60.8 percent rise, in the revised mini-budget tabled in Parliament.
Parliament had cut the proposed budget by Sh8 billion ahead of the financial year that started July last year to stem theft of funds.
The cut came after dozens of senior officials and business people were arrested and charged with loss of cash that the prosecution said could top Sh10 billion.
“Increase is on account of provision for pending bills for NYS and operations and maintenance,” Henry Rotich, the Treasury secretary, says in the second mini-budget tabled in Parliament last evening.
The scandal that erupted last year followed another three years ago in which nearly Sh2 billion was lost through fictitious procurement.
Last year, a court acquitted nearly two dozen NYS officials of charges related to the alleged theft of Sh48 million in 2015.
The deep cut crippled the NYS youth empowerment programme in 69 informal settlements, which were to get Sh9.7 billion out of the development expenditure vote.
Reforms initiated by Public Service and Youth Cabinet Secretary Margret Kobia led to a freeze in paying the pending bills amounting to Sh5.6 billion for supplies delivered to the NYS.
The freeze in payments saw NYS suppliers undergo fresh prequalification as the government moved to seal loopholes exploited for pilferage.
The prosecution had said that funds were stolen through fictitious invoices and multiple payments.
Mr Rotich’s Supplementary Budget, which is before MPs for approval, comes barely two months to the end of the financial year.
Treasury sources say the bulk of the revised budgets are for expenditures already consumed, leaving MPs with little powers to reject or revise the allocations.
Source: Business Daily