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Economy

MPs shoot down Kuria public debt inquiry bid

Moses Kuria
Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The House Business Committee (HBC), the top decision-making organ of the National Assembly, has shot down attempts by Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria to set up a special committee to probe the country’s ballooning public debt.

Speaker Justin Muturi, who chairs the HBC, declined to approve a request by Mr Kuria to establish a 15-member ad hoc committee on public debt situation in Kenya.

The committee was to inquire into the rising State debt which stands at Sh6 trillion. The debt rose from Sh1.8 trillion in June 2013.

Parliament has since approved increase of public debt ceiling to Sh9 trillion.

“I am inclined to decline to approve the notice of Motion to establish a select committee to inquire into public debt. The HBC is of the view that this matters perfectly falls under mandate of the departmental committee on Finance and National Planning,” Mr Muturi ruled.

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He said the matters raised by Mr Kuria goes beyond the mandate of the existing committees.

Mr Kuria had sought the Speakers permission to establish the ad-hoc committee to investigate and inquire into borrowing trend by the Government in the past 20 years.

The committee would have further investigated Kenya’s past and current domestic and foreign debt, inquire into effects of public debt in the economy for current and future generations and alternatives for borrowings.

Mr Kuria wanted the special committee to report to the House its findings within 90 days of its constitution.

“Moses Kuria is a member of BAC. I direct the committee on Finance to expedite examination of public debt related statements and reports submitted to the House by the National Treasury on quarterly basis,” Mr Muturi ruled.

Leader of Majority Aden Duale challenged House committees to scrutinise annual or quarterly reports by the Judiciary, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Auditor-General and the Controller of Budget.

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