National Assembly speaker Moses Wetangula chairing a Parliamentary session. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Finance Bill 2023 sailed through the second reading in Parliament on Wednesday, June 14, with 176 Members of Parliament voting in favour of the Bill and 81 opposing it.

The Bill will now proceed to the Committee of the Whole House stage. Here, the committee will go through it clause by clause.

Afterwards, it will go through the third reading where a final vote will be taken.

This is the stage a Bill goes through before it can be assented.

First Reading

During the first reading, the Bill is introduced in the House for the first time by way of reading the title which is done by the clerk. At this stage, no debate takes place.

It is then referred to the relevant Departmental Committee for consideration.

The Committee will then facilitate public participation through public hearings, consulting relevant stakeholders and experts etc.

Afterwards, the Committee writes a report to the House with any specific proposed amendments which will then be considered by the committee of the whole house.

Second reading

During the second reading, the bill is moved by the sponsor and is seconded by any member.

A bill has to be seconded to prevent future time wastage by the assembly having to dispose of a bill that only one person wants introduced.

When a bill is not seconded, it is withdrawn.

It is during the second reading that Members of Parliament debate on how the enactment of the law would affect the citizens.

After the debate, the proposer of the bill responds to any issues raised in the house.

Later, the Members of Parliament vote. If more MPs are in favour of the vote, it moves to the next stage which is the Committee of the Whole House.

Committee stage

The committee stage comprises the whole membership of the assembly.

At this stage, any proposed amendments to the Bill are considered and a vote is taken on each.

Additionally, the committee of the whole house approves clauses with or without amendments.

Afterwards, a report is sent to the House seeking approval.

Third Reading

This is the final stage of the Bill. No amendments can be made at this stage.

It is here that a final vote is taken.

President's assent

Once a Bill is passed by the House, the Speaker presents it to the President for assenting.

Within 14 days, the president may assent to the bill or refer the bill back to the House with some reservations.

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