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Economy

Parliament tables Sh40bn budget after month delay

A section of Parliament building Nairobi on January 06, 2017.PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
A section of Parliament building in Nairobi on January 06, 2017.PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Parliament on Wednesday tabled its delayed budget that was Sh4 billion more than Treasury estimates without clearly indicating whether it covers items like car grants and severance allowance that MPs were pushing for.

The budget for the financial year starting July, which has delayed by more than a month, is Sh40 billion. The Treasury had set a Sh36 billion budget for the House.

The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), which is the MPs’ employer, earlier said the Sh36 billion had left out several entitlements.

They include car grants for new MPs, severance allowance, gratuity for their aides and training of new lawmakers after the August poll, items that saw PSC push for a budget of Sh45.7 billion.

It’s not clear from the budget which of the items have been removed or reduced following the shortfall of Sh5 billion. The PSC wanted Sh2.4 billion included in the national budget as “severance allowance” to be paid to MPs as compensation for a shorter term that ends in August.

The MPs have been exerting pressure on the Treasury to pay them for the eight months that were shaved off their five-year term by the delay in holding the 2013 General Election. 

The commission was also seeking Sh2.1 billion to allow each of the 418-member bicameral parliament – MPs and Senators—to get the car grant after the August 8 poll.

Under the proposed Sh4.15 billion for development, the biggest chunk is Sh2 billion, which would fund the construction of the 27-storey office block next to Continental House.

The PSC has also reintroduced an allocation of Sh1 billion for the purchase of land to host an expanded Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training. Treasury had taken the allocation away via the Supplementary Budget.

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