NADCO proposes 50pc cut on travel budget, Sh5 slash on pump prices » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 — The National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) has proposed a 50 per cent budget cuts on travel expenditure as part of the measures to reduce the ballooning cost of living among Kenyans.

The proposal comes at a time when government officials have been accused of wasting public funds in foreign travels which a section of Kenyans have argued is not beneficial to the common citizen.

Despite President William Ruto’s announcement that the government will cut travel allowances paid to government officials, state officers have continued to globe-trot at the expense of taxpayers.

Ruto promised to direct monies realized from budget cuts to key social programs including the constructing a facility to manufacture devices to support children with special needs.

NADCO’s report released Saturday night recommend further cuts on allowances paid public officers (30 per cent) to cushion Kenyans from economic hardships.

The deal signed by Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka (Azimio Coalition) and his co-chair, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah (Kenya Kwanza Coalition), further recommended that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in liaison with the national Treasury reduce the road maintenance levy and the anti-adulteration levy by Sh 5 and Sh 3 per liter respectively.

“NADCO recommends the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in liaison with the national Treasury reduce the road maintenance levy and the anti-adulteration levy by Sh5 and Sh3 per liter respectively,” a joint statement by Ichung’wah and Musyoka stated.

The Road Maintenance Levy Fund which is collected at the fuel pump is currently set at Sh18 per litre of petrol and diesel with Sh3 allocated to the annuity fund and the balance to road maintenance, rehabilitation and development.

Sh5 cut on petrol, diesel

The RMLF Act was enacted in 1993 to provide a sustainable source of funding for road network maintenance.

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The adoption of the NADCO recommendations could see RMLF reviewed downwards to Sh13 for petrol and diesel while kerosene users part with Sh15 per litre of kerosene for an anti-adulteration levy which currently stands at Sh18.

The anti-adulteration levy on kerosene was introduced through the Finance Act of 2018, following an amendment to the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act of 2016, to address the challenge of adulteration of diesel.

The government maintains the country’s roads network through the Kenya Roads Board Fund (KRBF), which is mainly financed through the revenues generated from the RMLF as well as transit tolls levied under the Public Roads Toll Act (Cap. 407).

The funds are distributed to agencies tasked with road maintenance; Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), and the county governments.

The proposal on the cost of living is among five others that were made by the committee which was established through a parliamentary process in August.

Other recommendations touch on establishment and entrenchment of state offices, fidelity to the law on multi-party democracy, electoral justice and entrenching of funds supervised by Members of Parliament in the constitution.

Ichung’wah and Kalonzo confirmed that the proposals had been forwarded electronically to both President William Ruto and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga.

They expressed optimism that the joint report would help address the challenges ailing Kenyans including high cost of living.

“It is our firm belief that the Report has addressed the issues that formed the basis of the talks   and the recommendations therein will progressively heal our wounds,” the two said in a joint statement.

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