Kenya Treasury says no borrowing for extra $543m

“Borrowing for this year is even closed. There will be no more borrowing,” Geoffrey Mwau, economic secretary at the Finance Ministry, told reporters.

Treasury wants an additional 27.62 billion shillings for recurrent expenditure and another 14.39 billion shillings for development programmes.

The budget factored in domestic borrowing of 109.5 billion shillings but the government increased this by 15 billion.

Mwau said the extra cash would go to the Interim Independent Elections Commission in the run-up towards a referendum on a proposed new constitution expected by July.

A new charter is viewed as an important component for stability in east Africa’s largest economy, after a bloody post-election crisis in early 2008 dented its image as a peaceful nation in a region that has suffered from civil wars.

“It is actually new requirements, mainly things that were not budgeted for last time, for example, we have the Interim Independent Electoral Commission, they want about nine billion (shillings),” he said.

The government would also use part of the additional financing to help victims of a severe drought in 2009 and flooding in some areas early this year, Mwau added.

The ministry wants parliament to release the money from the government’s Consolidated Fund, the parliamentary order paper said.

In his June 2009 government spending plan, Kenyatta said the government would spend 606.7 billion shillings on recurrent expenses and another 258.9 billion on development projects.

Critics say the government has made supplementary budgets the norm rather than the exception.

The government requested 26.25 billion shillings in additional spending money in the 2008/09 fiscal year.

Kenya has put off issuing a Eurobond for at least $500m until global markets improve and has instead leaned on domestic borrowing to raise funds.


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