Parliament ready to pass Uhuru’s stimulus proposals, says Muturi

Friday, March 27th, 2020 00:00 |
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Irene Githinji @gitshee

The National Assembly is ready to process bills that would allow the National Treasury implement tax reliefs announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday to cushion Kenyans against the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Speaker Justin Muturi said yesterday.

Muturi who was accompanied by his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka, however, said Treasury is yet to formally contact the National Assembly on the matter.

The President directed the Treasury to reduce  Value Added Tax from 16 per cent to 14 per  cent, effective  April 1, zero-rate Pay As You Earn for employees earning Sh24,000 and less and give a five per cent tax relief for those earning more.

“Communication from Treasury on the proposed interventions is yet to reach us,” said Muturi.

Lusaka said the Senate would reconvene next week.

“The Senate will reconvene on Tuesday and sit once every week to deliberate on key issues,” said Lusaka (pictured, right).

For purposes of preparing bills,  Muturi said there was space for committees to give their input but their decisions must be approved by the full House.

“The Houses make the decisions while committees make recommendations,” said Muturi.

He acknowledged that under the current circumstances, certain processes may have to be fast tracked, which means public participation requirement may be skipped.

Muturi indicated he had not received a request for a special sitting to discuss the pandemic.

He yesterday said the rules allow either the Leader of Majority or Minority  to write to either Speaker requesting for a special sitting or recall of the House to deliberate on specific business.

“The law requires that Leader of the Majority or Minority parties in the House write to the Speaker to cause a recall of the House.

So far, that has not happened yet thus the House continues with the short recess but as you know the matter of coronavirus pandemic is one of great concern in the country,” said Muturi.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech has written to Majority Leader Aden Duale asking him to invoke powers granted to him and recall the House.

“Recall the House to pass the necessary legislation to cushion citizens, pass a resolution to the National Government CDF board to allow us spend the emergency allocations under NG-CDF on efforts to mitigate spread of coronavirus,” said Koech in a letter dated March 25.

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