Legislators return to Parliament as full in-tray awaits

Monday, February 8th, 2021 20:51 |
Parliament in session. Photo/PD/FILE

Members of the National Assembly and Senate resume their sittings today after a two-month Christmas recess.

With a full in-tray awaiting them, the parliamentarians will first consider and approve their calendar for the Fifth Session which will reflect the special circumstances occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant protocols.

Other than the rigorous budget-making process, lawmakers will handle, among others, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill 2020 and finalise on the referendum law.

With the 2020/21 financial year on its last leg, top on the list of activities for the MPs is the consideration and approval of the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) for the financial year 2021/2022 and the Annual Revenue Bills which is the last for President Uhuru Kenyatta in his second and final term in office.

“In accordance with the Public Finance Management Act, 2012, the BPS should be submitted by the National Treasury for Tabling in the House by February 15, each year.

Budget and Appropriations

Thereafter, the BPS is to subject to consideration by the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the 15 Departmental Committees before approval by the House,” a statement by the National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai read in part.

“This will pave way for the introduction and passage of the annual Divisions of Revenue Bill and the County Allocation of Revenue Bill by both Houses.

These two Bills are also top on the priority list of Parliament this Fifth Session,” the statement added.

Also in the overflowing legislative in-tray of Members of the National Assembly is the reconstitution of the following five key Parliamentary Committees namely House Business Committee (HBC), Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Committee and Committee on Members’ Services and Facilities.

Others will be Committee on Appointments chaired by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Budget and Appropriations Committee currently headed by Kieni MP Kanini Kega.

The House will also consider the following Pending Bills sponsored by Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya, on behalf of the government including the Public-Private Partnerships (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Mediated version), the Refugees Bill, 2019 and the Kenya National Library Service Bill, 2020.

Others are the National Aviation Management Bill, 2020, the Waqf Bill, 2019, the Social Assistance (Repeal) Bill, 2020, the Mediation Bill, 2020; and the Business Laws (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2020.

“The completion of business brought forward from last session plus bills published during recess after prioritizing by the sessional House Business Committee that will be approved by the House on Tuesday,” Kimunya told People Daily on Sunday.

Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye has, on his part, asked the Secretariat he leads to roll up their sleeves in readiness for what is expected to be the busiest Senate Session, owing to among other processes, the landmark ruling on Constitutional Petition No. 284 of 2019.

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