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Lawmakers call for extensive public participation on tabled Finance Bill

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 09:00 | By
Finance and National Planning Committee chairman Kimani Kuria. PHOTO/Print
Finance and National Planning Committee chairman Kimani Kuria. PHOTO/Print

Members of Parliament (MPs) are demanding for a thorough public participation on the Finance Bill devoid of other bills sponsored by the Executive.

The majority side has promised that the process of collecting views from the public will be open and all-inclusive but will also have the opinions considered.

The National Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee chair, Ndindi Nyoro revealed that the process kicks off next week where his committee and that of Finance and Planning will start engaging Kenyans on the budget.

The Finance Bill was tabled yesterday in the National Assembly by the Finance and National Planning Committee chairman Kimani Kuria (pictured).

Yesterday, Kuria assured that views given by the public will be put into consideration and denied claims that the committee left out all what stake holders and member of the public presented during last year’s Finance bill.

“We are putting an advertisement in the print media tomorrow (today) inviting members of the public to present their views to the committee starting next week,” said Kuria.

Disputing allegations that the committee discarded all the views given by Kenyans last year, Kuria said at least 175 proposals given during the public hearings were considered.

“The committee carried many proposals like the one of affordable housing which the bill had proposed 3 percent tax but it was brought down to 1.5 percent following a proposal by many of those who appeared before us,” said the Molo MP.

Minority Whip Junet Mohammed called for an exhaustive public participation and not what was witnessed last year where all the views given by Kenyans were ignored and the Finance Act passed according to the wishes of the executive.

 “This time round we will be keen to see how the Finance Committee will treat people’s views. We don’t want a cosmetic process where Kenyans are called to rubber stamp the executive agenda,” warned Junet.

Speaking at a fundraiser in Narok Town at the PCEA Church, Nyoro, and allayed fears on the 2024-2025 budget estimates saying whatever was published were only proposals subject to changes.

“The Finance Bill is the proposal from the National Treasury; when the proposal is brought to Parliament that is when the process begins,” said Nyoro.

Nyoro said the National Treasury has proposed a budget of Sh3.913 trillion for the 2024/25 financial year.

“As from next week, we will as the committee traverse in different counties engaging the public on the budget making process and we shall consider all the views presented,” added Nyoro.

He added, “I want to assure you that the views you will give will be considered before the bill is passed into law.”

Nyoro added that Kenya is a democratic country, and that is why Kenyans are in the forefront in the budget making process through public participation.

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