MOMBASA, Kenya, Sep 10 – The National Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee on Monday dispelled reports of looming budget cuts to cushion the country in the wake of the fuel tax crisis.
Kenyans are being subjected to high cost of living after the start of implementation of the 16 per cent VAT on all petroleum product by the National Treasury from September 1 this year.
On Monday, the Budget and Appropriation Committee, led by the chairperson Kimani Ichung’wah retreated to the Coast, in what was believed to be a meeting to discuss the fuel tax crisis and budget cuts.
However, Ichung’wah said the budget cuts is not the mandate of the National Assembly.
“I’m not aware of any crisis. Whether there would be budget cuts or not that is a decision that will be made by relevant people, it is not Parliament nor the budget committee that make budget cuts, it would be the National Treasury if they found it necessary to do that,” said Ichung’wah.
He said they are at the Coast for a two-day retreat to review the framework on the budget implementation process.
“It was reported in 2017 open budget analysis that Kenya is one of the countries with one of the most rigorous budget reviews processes, but also one with the weakest budget implementation review process,” he said.
He said by the beginning of this year, the Budget Committee developed a framework on the budget implementation review.
“It is because of that matter we are here with the parliamentary budget office to review this framework. This is part of our annual normal programme as a committee,” he said.
On the 16 per cent tax fuel crisis, he said the August House had already decided on that matter.
“The horse has already bolted. That matter is now out of the National Assembly. We are now waiting, hopefully, the clerk to the National Assembly to submit the Bill to the President and the President, in his own wisdom he will decide on what to do. The process is quite clear on what is supposed to happen if the President does not assent that Bill into law” he said.