The institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) has raised red flag over the raising public debt due to increased government borrowing.
Last week the parliament gave government green light to borrow more money after they raised the debt ceiling to Ksh9 trillion reflecting the government increased appetite for loans.
This is despite Concerns over the pace at which the debt is accumulating according to ICPAK chairperson Rose Mwaura.
Addressing the media at Leisure lodge resort in Kwale on Wednesday, Mwaura already the country’s’ public debt has hit Sh5.81 trillion which includes Ksh3.01 T of external and 2.8 T of domestic debts by 30 June this year.
She said that already, the country’s debt levels are almost 60 per cent of Growth Domestic product compared to 70 per cent thresh hold set by the World Bank, which is worrying.
ICPAK want the government to adopt a way of living within its means even as they appreciate measures taken to control travel costs, hospitality and cleaning as well as conducting regular audits of the payrolls register among others.
“All expenditures rationalization measures must have tangible targets and outcomes and should not hinder service delivery,” she said.
Mwaura who was speaking in the sideline of fifth public sector accountant conference, said that efficiency gains without additional funding is the key to effective implementation of government projects without debt accumulation.
“We want to see borrowed money only used to finance development expenditure and not recurrent expenditure. Let us live within our means,” she reiterated.
Flanked by ICPAK vice chair George Mokua ,Mwaura noted that the institution also want the objectives of debt management in the country to be well defined and publicly disclosed.
“We also want the government to ensure that all measures of the cost and risk adopted are explained to the public,” she added.
To enhance public financial management, Mwaura said that the government focus in public private partnership framework as a better alternative to implementation of huge projects in the country in helping to bring down level of external debt financing.
“The current huge budget in the country is as a result of growing public expenditure than revenue at a faster pace in the past few years,” she noted.
“We are also asking the government to do implementation of budget monitoring reports by ensuring they act on auditor general report and controller of budget recommendation in respect to public debt and theft of public funds,” added.
She said that accountability in public and private sectors is important to ensure more resources are freed for development.
She argued that corruption has hindered development citing the issue of Kimwarer Dam whose funds were borrowed and money embezzled.
“We need to see borrowed money working to develop this country and tame corruption,” she added,