MPs reintroduce stalled Division of Revenue Bill

Thursday May 18 2017

Parliament in session. file photo | nmg

Parliament in session. file photo | nmg 

By EDWIN MUTAI
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MPs have moved to avert a budget crisis in counties after reintroducing the Division of Revenue Bill, 2017 that stalled after the two Houses failed to agree on the amount of money to be transferred to the 47 units.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) has reintroduced the Bill after a mediation committee comprising of members of the Senate and the National Assembly failed to agree on the amount of money to be sent to counties.

The National Assembly maintained the equitable share to counties at Sh291 billion, an amount Senators rejected and set at Sh314 billion.

The Bill, which provides for equitable division of revenue raised among national and county levels of government as required under Article 218 of the Constitution, is critical in unlocking funding to the devolved units.

The new Bill contains the Sh291 billion proposed by the National Assembly, suggesting fresh attempts to have a go at mediation.  

The Bill must be approved to pave the way for passage the County Allocation of Revenue Bill.

The delay means that counties cannot proceed to prepare their annual budgets without the law being passed.

“It is everybody’s knowledge that county governments can only proceed to prepare their budget and appropriation laws on the basis of the Division of Revenue Act in line with provisions of Article 218 of the Constitution.

“Indeed this House has to make a determination on how we need to proceed in future. It is not fair that we stifle efforts of those we (National Assembly) represent at the grassroots and those represented as entities (Counties) by Senate,” Justin Muturi, the National Assembly Speaker said.