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President Uhuru’s 12 critical hours to pass bills

By Anthony Mwangi
Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
Former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has 12 hours to assent to three crucial Bills, failure to which they will not take effect. 

Finance Bill, 2020, the Appropriation Bill and the Supplementary Budget Bill ought to take effect by midnight today (end of the Financial Year) as specified in law. 

The Bills are critical components in the running of government affairs as they allow it to spend and tax to support its budget.

Appropriation Bill gives power to the Government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund, while the Finance Bill allows the government to introduce new taxes, modify the existing tax structure or continuance of the existing tax structure beyond the period approved by Parliament.

Yesterday, the National Assembly Clerk, Michael Sialai, told People Daily that Finance and the Appropriation Bills are ready only awaiting the presidential assent.

Second reading

“The two Bills are awaiting the presidential assent. For the Supplementary Budget III, the second reading has been slated for this morning and the Committee to the whole House to follow thereafter,” said Sialai.

MPs have taken issue with The Treasury after it presented Supplementary Budget III just seven days to the end of the 2019/2020 Financial Year. 

Majority Leader Amos Kimunya tabled the budget last week in a move that caught members unawares including Speaker Justin Muturi.

“I hope the National Treasury knows that we have seven days to the end of the Financial Year,” Muturi told Kimunya.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani did not appear before the Budget and Appropriations Committee to defend the budget despite having been summoned. He sent his Chief Administrative Secretary, Nelson Gaichuhie and Principal Secretary Julius Muia.

In the estimates, the Treasury has allocated Sh1.8 billion to the Transport ministry for the Nairobi commuter train and Sh1.5 billion to the Interior ministry for secure communication and surveillance systems.

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