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Speaker Justin Muturi recalled the House through a Special Gazette Notice on Tuesday, March 31/FILE/PBU

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Speaker Muturi recalls house to consider President Kenyatta’s COVID-19 relief plan

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – The National Assembly is set to convene on Wednesday, April 8, for a special sitting to consider President Uhuru Kenyatta’s measures aimed at giving the economy, businesses and consumers various tax reliefs.

The legislators who are currently on recess were Tuesday recalled by Speaker Justin Muturi through a Special Gazette Notice.

The extra ordinary sitting will allow for the laying of various instruments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic such as the Public Finance Management (COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund) Regulations, Supplementary Estimates for FY 2019/20 and related documents and any other government policy papers relating to measures to address the pandemic and related emergencies.

The National Treasury on Tuesday published the Public Finance Management Regulations which will see the setup of an emergency fund to will be used to mobilize resources for an emergency response towards containing the spread, effect and impact of the disease.

The established fund will be drawn from the monies which will be appropriated by the National Assembly, voluntary contributions from the public officers and private persons, grant donations, subscriptions, bequests and any other source to be approved by the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary.

The special purpose fund will also be used to restore facilities for compulsory quarantine for safe use by the hosting institutions.

The Fund will also be used to purchase the essential supply for public hospitals and other related institutions, health professionals and front-line workers.

It will also be used to support and stimulate micro, small and medium enterprises which have been rendered vulnerable by the disease.

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National Treasury intends to use fund to enhance the capacity of the relevant research institutions used in handling Covid-19 surveillance as well as funding other emerging issues from the pandemic.

In his first economic stimulus package to shield the economy from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, the President ordered the National Treasury to give employees earning less than Sh24,000 a 100 per cent tax relief.

This means that if you earn Sh24,000 and less, you will get your full salary without the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) deductions from April 1.

Those earning more than this will pay a maximum of 25 per cent, down from the current 30 per cent.

In considering the Supplementary Estimates, the MPs are expected to consider proposals by the National Treasury to reorganize the budgets of various government ministries, state departments, the Judiciary, Parliament among others, in order to free up funds to be directed to boost the COVID-19 Fund.

This comes barely hours after the Senate opted to surrender back Sh200 million to support the campaign against the fast spreading pandemic.

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