The National Treasury has instructed all government owned institutions to hand over the cash balances in their bank accounts. On Monday, the treasury invited heads of state-owned corporations to discuss how much near liquid assets and cash balances they would surrender to the state.
This move intends to reduce the cost of borrowing for government. Government entities are the biggest buyers of treasury securities. Meaning the state corporations lend to the government at a cost.
Treasury Public Secretary Julius Muia commented that such demands have happened in the past. However, they now want to formalize the cash collections and target all state corporations. The surplus money which the corporations will pay back to the government will be accounted for as retained earnings, continued Dr Muia.
Business Daily reported that over ten parastatals are holding more than Ksh100 million, a significant amount to be collected upon implementation of the directive.
Banks and parastatals are not happy with the Treasury directive. Commercial banks fear that the order will affect their liquidy. At the same time, they worry that the instruction takes away confidence money upon which they relied on to lend parastatals.
Heads of state corporations fear that taking away the surplus will limit their loose cash used to finance daily operations and contingencies.
Dr Muia responded that the process would be carried out smoothly, after consultation with each state corporation. The senior official brushed off banks’ fears saying that there is sufficient liquidity in the market.
“But the amounts are not big, and if you look at the liquidity of the banking sector they are awash with money with liquidity ratios higher than that required by the CBK,” said Dr Julius Muia.