By Getrude Matayo
Due to the restrictions that were put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19, civil servants missed out on 7.39 billion shillings in travel benefits and subsistence allowances in the three months to June.
According to Controller of Budget Report (CoB) ministries splashed 3.7 billion shillings on travel and entertainment in the quarter to June when Kenya imposed covid-19-induced lockdown, down from 11.14 billion shillings in a similar period last year.
The meetings and out of towns restrictions denied State employees opportunities to boost their wages through perks such as mileage, sitting, and subsistence allowances earned from local and foreign travels.
According to the CoB report, travel spending in the three months to June fell by 3.41 billion shillings while hospitality or entertainment expenditure dropped 3.98 billion shillings to 1.94 billion shillings underlined the burden of non-essential expenses.
MS Nyakang’o said the decline is attributed to austerity measures on non-core activities and movement restriction both local and international to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country
CoB report shows that the interior ministry posted the biggest decline in travel and hospitality spend which dropped to 530 billion shillings in the three months to June from 2.65 billion shillings in similar last year.
The actual expenditure of public debt amounted to Sh717.65 billion during the year under review, representing 92.1 percent of the revised gross estimates and 45.6 percent of the ordinary revenue for the year.
The allowance structure shows that the payouts are higher for visits to the more frequented places like Arusha, Tanzania, and Addis Ababa, the African Union headquarter ranging between 60,930 and 21,150 shillings while rarely visited places attract the lowest stipends of between 51,750 and 16,110 shillings per day.
In 2018, the International Monetary Fund chided the government, saying the structure and volume of the country’s debt have important implications for debt management.
IMF said that although private debt has been a small proportion of total external debt, debt service payments on this debt have been almost as high as those on official debt. Moreover, the terms of payment have become increasingly hard, suggesting that debt service payments will rise in the future.