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National Assembly’s Finance Bill 2023: Race Against Time as Committee Balances Revenue and Cost of Living


  • The Finance and Planning Committee, supported by their technical team, is working diligently to compile a comprehensive report for the Finance Bill 2023.
  • Their efforts reflect their commitment to incorporating the views of the Kenyan public and ensuring that the bill strikes a balance between revenue generation and the economic challenges faced by citizens.

The National Assembly’s Finance and Planning Committee is facing a race against time as it works to compile its report for the upcoming tabling of the Finance Bill 2023 in Parliament. The committee, led by Chairman Kuria Kimani, has hinted at a potential delay in tabling the bill, possibly pushing it to Wednesday due to the heavy workload they are currently facing.

Kimani emphasized the significance of including the views of all Kenyans in the report, stating that it would be the largest report ever presented in Parliament, spanning a thousand pages.

He stressed that every Kenyan who shared their opinions with the committee would have their remarks included, highlighting the committee’s dedication to considering the input of the public. With 157 documents to review, each clause is being carefully examined and given due importance.

The Finance Bill 2023, having been partially amended by the committee, will be tabled in Parliament for a clause-by-clause examination. Kimani dismissed claims made by some opposition leaders from the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition that the bill would be passed as it currently stands.

He clarified that amendments would be proposed and discussed, and if the opposition had better ideas, they were welcome to present them. Kimani firmly stated that the bill could not pass as a whole, accusing the opposition of spreading misinformation.

The Finance and Planning Committee of the National Assembly is faced with the challenging task of striking a balance between generating revenue for the government in the upcoming budget reading and considering the harsh economic conditions characterized by high living costs.

The committee recognizes that this is the most extensively debated bill in Kenya’s history, almost resembling a referendum. They aim to expand the tax base and generate additional revenue without resorting to borrowing, while also being mindful of the burden placed on citizens due to the cost of living.

To support the committee’s work, a technical team consisting of officials from the Office of the Attorney General, the National Treasury, and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been assembled.

The Attorney General ensures that all clauses in the bill align with the legal framework. The National Treasury is pushing for the committee to achieve its revenue target of Ksh.2.5 trillion for the financial year 2023-2024.

The KRA is providing alternative tax options for clauses affected by amendments, aiding in the development of sound fiscal policies.

Kimani explained that the committee is meticulously going through thousands of documents, scrutinizing each clause.

They plan to table the report on Tuesday and progress to subsequent stages such as the committee of the whole House and second reading. If approved by the end of the following week, the debate and discussion on the Finance Bill will be completed.

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