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Health department takes lion’s share in Tharaka Nithi budget

By Gerald Mukembu

The health department has received the largest allocation in the Tharaka Nithi County Government’s budget for the 2024/2025 fiscal year.

According to the Tharaka Nithi County Assembly Budget committee chairperson, Godfrey Murithi Gaturo, the health sector has been allocated Sh1.7 billion to help Governor Muthomi Njuki’s administration achieve its manifesto goals.

Gaturo who is also the Karingani MCA explained that the bulk of these funds will cover salaries, while the remainder will be used for development projects, particularly in the building of ICUs in every level Four hospitals within the County.

Speaking at a public participation forum in the Chuka Igambang’ombe constituency, Gaturo noted that out of the total Sh6.3 billion budget from the treasury, Sh 4 is earmarked for recurrent expenditure.

“I am happy most of the residents have agreed with the sub-divisions of monies allocated for projects in the County. The PFM Act is clear that any budget must not go above 70% of the total recurrent funds. Money is never enough, and counties must utilize the available funds prudently for the benefit of Mwananchi,” Gaturo said.

He also appealed to the national treasury to disburse County funds promptly.

“Most of the County staff have stayed for over three months without salaries. There should be efficient and timely release of County monies to ensure smooth running of counties,” he emphasized.

Gaturo castigated leaders who are inciting traders and other businesspeople against paying taxes saying it is an archaic and detrimental practice aimed at robbing away the growth and realization of developments in the County.

“We anticipate County will collect Sh400million taxes next financial year. Whether you pay Sh50 or Sh1000, you are a great investor. Why should a leader incite residents not to pay tax thus delaying developments for their selfish political mileage?” he questioned.

In addition, Gaturo highlighted the County Assembly’s Plan to support education by identifying bright but needy learners in their wards.

“We have allocated Sh34 million for bursaries where every Ward is to receive Sh2 million. We will build ECDE classes and improve infrastructure in all polytechnics,” he said.

He urged County departments to liaise and engage leaders and locals in the fulfillment of development projects.

He also announced that the national government has partnered with the county government to construct an industrial park, aiming to boost the county’s economic growth.

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