Jubilee keeps its promise on devolution
The government has handed the youth more opportunities to grow their financial muscle, their skills and knowledge in the financial year 2016/17.
In June, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said Treasury allocated Kshs 21.1 billion to youth and gender empowerment programs, a vibrant sector of the population that wields a lot of potential to grow the economy.During the reading of the Budget in Parliament, the Cabinet Secretary reminded the nation of a proposal he made last year to introduce tax rebates for employers who employ at least 10 fresh graduates for 6-12 months.
“I have now developed the regulations for the tax rebate and will be proposing to gazette them under the tax measures to make our graduates employable by preparing them for the job market,” said Rotich.
The government will also work with the World Bank and implement a youth empowerment program to help increase access to employment programs and improve their employability.
The National Youth Service (NYS) will also receive finances from the government.
“The government shall continue supporting this NYS program for the benefit of the youth who acquire skills, craft and technical training so that they can contribute to national economic development,” he said.
The program was revamped two years ago as a vehicle for recruiting young men and women into national service. It helps inculcate the culture of patriotism, service, voluntarism, civic competence and social cohesion among trainees and other youth in the communities.
The NYS program created a lot of hope for the youth, preparing them for the job market and other income-generating activities and gave them opportunity to serve the country.
The budget prepared by the treasury for the year 2016/17 amounted to Kshs 2.3 trillion.The National Government has also supported devolution through the allocation of funds for service delivery to the people.
“Over the last three years, since devolution was introduced, the national government has allocated more than Kshs 710 billion to counties with the majority of the allocation Kshs 676 billion is in the form of county equitable share of nationally-raised revenue,” said Rotich.
In three years of transition, annual aggregate fiscal allocation to counties increased from Kshs 195 billion in 2013/2014 to Kshs 288 billion in 2015/16, more than 42 percent growth.
“Since devolution started in July 2013, we have disbursed every single penny due to counties in every financial year,” he said.
Parliament also approved the disbursement of Kshs 280.3 billion as equitable share to counties for the next financial year. This is a Kshs 20.5 billion increase from last financial year, and more than double the Constitution minimum requirement of 15 percent of the latest audited revenue.
The counties have also been given an additional conditional funds of Kshs 23.9 billion that include grants for Level 5 hospitals of Sh4 billion, a special purpose grant of Kshs 200 million to support emergency medical services for Lamu and Tana River counties that are vulnerable to terrorist attacks, free maternal health got Kshs 4.1 billion, Kshs 900 million to compensate county governments for foregone user fees and Kshs 4.5 billion for financing the leasing of medical equipment.
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