Bated breath as Parliament sits to debate reversal of Covid tax laws
By Betty Njeru
| December 21st 2020
The National Assembly will tomorrow hold a special sitting to debate the planned reversal of key tax rates.
At the height of the pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the tax exemptions to cushion Kenyans from the effects of Covid-19.
In the MPs' in-tray are about 13 bills that will be read for the first time on the floor of the House.
Here are some of the bills;
THE TAX LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
This bill was published on November 27, 2020, sponsored by Finance and National Planning Committee Chair.
Legislators will be looking to reverse the tax rates to the Income Tax Act, Cap. 470, among them- Pay as You Earn (PAYE), Corporation Tax and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, 2013, to the rates that existed pre-Covid.
“The Bill seeks to amend the Income Tax Act by amending the top tax rate for Pay as you Earn and Corporation Tax from the current 25 per cent to 30 per cent.”
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
Parliament will also be debating The Constitution Amendment Bill, 2020, whose key objective is to mend changes in the Constitution to allow the President more appointing powers.
The Bill seeks to allow the President to appoint Cabinet Secretaries from among Members of Parliament, and empower the President to assign the Attorney-General the duties of a Cabinet Secretary.
The Bill further seeks to amend Article 179 of the Constitution- to allow a county governor to appoint members of the county assembly as members of his or her county executive committee and to make members of the county executive committees accountable to the people through the county assembly.
THE JUDICIAL SERVICE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
The Judicial Service Amendment Bill seeks to empower the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to start the process of recruiting a new Chief Justice- at least six months before the expected retirement date or expiry of the term of the Chief Justice under Article 167 of the Constitution.
As is, Chief Justice David Maraga has already proceeded on his terminal leave, pending his exit from office and retirement in January 2021.
The CJ and his team have been traversing the country in recent weeks to commission pending construction works.
THE BUSINESS LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
The Bill, sponsored by National Assembly Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya seeks to make several amendments to various statutes to facilitate the ease of doing business in Kenya.
The statutes include the Law of Contract Act, the Industrial Training Act, the Stamp Duty Act, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Act, the National Construction Authority Act, 2011, and the Land Registration Act, 2012.
Should the Business Amendment Law Bill be passed, it will be a welcome move towards achieving economic recovery in the country, seeing as dozen dozens of companies and businesses shut down and nearly 2 million Kenyans pushed deeper into poverty, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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