NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 20 – The National Assembly was on Tuesday scheduled to hold a Special Sitting where legislators are expected to consider and approve a revised calendar which will see next year’s Budget Statement read in March as opposed to the customary second week of June.
House Speaker Justin Muturi recalled MPs to alter the House Calendar for Parliament to resume its Sittings on January 24 as opposed to February 7 next year in order to discuss Budget related issues including the Division of Revenue Bill and the Supplementary Estimates.
The National Treasury plans to have it read early to ensure the 2017/2018 Budget is appropriated in good time for smooth operations of the budget before and after the 2017 General Election set for August 8.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich wants MPs to scrutinise and approve the Budget Statement in January next year so it can be passed in April.
The special calendar shows Budget Estimates will be submitted to Parliament by end of January and not end of April.
MPs have in the past two weeks been meeting Cabinet Secretaries, Independent and Constitutional office holders in order to get their input on proposed budget ceilings capped on the respective recurrent and development expenditure estimates.
The change of dates will also require Kenya to reach an agreement with other East African Community (EAC) nations so they can allow her to read the Budget earlier.
In EAC, budgets are read on the same day, which also ensures no member country comes up with taxation measures contrary to the agreements and protocols signed by the member states.
Speaker Muturi had earlier this year warned of a possible financial crisis if the election date remained in August as Parliament would possibly have adjourned sittings two months before the elections.
The Elections Act requires parties to finish their nominations 60 days to the General Election.
He had argued that in an election year, it would be difficult to get the requisite quorum to approve the Budget in June.