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Bill on State spending passed in 30 minutes

By | May 21st 2009 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Parliament has finally passed a legislation sanctioning Government spending until next month’s Budget.

This follows the correction of Sh10.7 billion mini-Budget error.

The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, which allows withdrawal of Sh26.3 billion from the Consolidated Fund, was approved in less than 30 minutes.

But members urged finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to assure the House the estimates in the 20-page Bill were factual.

"I can confirm the figures are consistent with the revised ones," the Deputy Prime Minister said in response to the Budget Committee Chairman Martin Ogindo’s questions.

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Ogindo said members did not have adequate time to scrutinise the voluminous estimates, which Uhuru resubmitted on Tuesday.

"I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the figure in this Bill," said Ogindo, whose committee investigated the error.

Public outcry

The error caused a public outcry and lead to a criminal investigation against Treasury officials.

The exchange occurred after the Bill had sailed through the Committee of the Whole House, which ideally combs the allocations, in a record five minutes.

Earlier, Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale said he was disappointed with the minister’s failure to apologise over the fiasco and his apparent haste to have the Bill passed.

Khalwale said Uhuru would be held responsible should the committee later discover any problems.

Kisumu Town East MP Shakeel Shabir moved to cut short the debate, saying the Motion had been discussed earlier.

Uhuru assured members the funds would be utilised efficiently.

Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Njeru Githae had seconded the Bill, echoing Uhuru’s sentiments that the Bill should be passed urgently.

Parliament Supplementary Appropriation Bill
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