Up to 100 constituencies will lose more than Sh771 million in National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) allocation if the Parliament adopts new proposed changes in distribution formula.
The National Government Development Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which has already been adopted by the house’s Select Committee on the NG-CDF.
The bill proposes that the 290 constituencies equally share 75% of the annual NG-CDF allocation and the rest will be distributed based on the number of wards per constituency.
“Using the annual allocation for 2020/21 of Sh41.7 billion the proposal resulted in a high of Sh156.8 million and the lowest at Sh124.2 million, creating a variance of Sh32.5 million. The effects of this is that 190 and 100 constituencies are better and worse off respectively” reads part of the committee report.
The proposal will see 190 constituencies gain between Sh6 million and Sh13 million while the rest will lose Sh158,155 to Sh13 million.
But all the 290 constituencies receive a flat rate of Sh137.4 million annually after the National Treasury allocated Sh41 billion to the NG-CDF in the current financial year.
The committee wants the budget ceiling for each constituency to 3/4 of the amount divided equally among all constituencies and 1/4 divided among all constituencies based on the number of wards in each constituency.
The formula is similar to that of the senate where 47 counties are allocated varying amounts based on a range of parameters such as population size, land area, health care and roads.
The NG-CDF board said the proposals will lead to a huge variance in allocation of funds to constituencies. “Scenario developed by the board and working with the 2020/21 financial year allocation results in a wide range variance of Sh113,322,255 where Turkana West and Lamu East would receive the highest and lowest at Sh220,675,608 and Sh107,453,353 respectively.
Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu who is the man behind the amendment bill wanted to amend Section 34 the NG-CDF Act, 2015 to introduce a new budget ceiling for constituencies.
Simiyu proposed that 3/4 of the CDF cash be divided equally among all constituencies and an amount equal to a quarter be divided by the national poverty index multiplied by the constituency poverty index.
The Tongaren lawmaker claimed that the equal share as stipulated in the NG-CDF Act, 2015 is unconstitutional since constituencies vary in terms of needs and levels of poverty and many constituencies are below the poverty line.
“It is worth noting that equal sharing of the fund would not close the poverty gap index,” Simiyu said.
The NG-CDF board also claimed it had been exploring a number of variables to improve the basis of sharing the constituency funds.
NG-CDF is meant to support projects under the functions of the national government in schools, education bursaries and security-related projects such as police stations and police posts.
CDF is popular with MPs who use it to initiate development projects at the constituency level to ‘market’ themselves to the electorate as top performers.
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