Senator calls for review of Finance Bill 2023 over alleged errors

Migori Senator Eddy Oketch. [Standard, file]

Migori Senator Eddy Oketch has called for a comprehensive review of the Finance Bill 2023 before the proposed legislation undergoes the public participation process.

This follows the bill's submission to Parliament by the National Treasury on May 4, 2023.

Speaking during an interview on Spice FM on Monday, May 15, Oketch expressed concerns regarding the bill, highlighting placement and mathematical errors flagged by the Finance and Budget Committee.

He emphasised that if the errors are not rectified, they could potentially mislead Kenyans.

"Azimio and Kenya Kwanza committees engaged key stakeholders, including the Commission on Revenue Allocation, and the most interesting finding was that the bill had errors as it was proposed from the Treasury. Our own Finance and Budget Committees identified placement and mathematical errors and advised Treasury where changes were needed to be effected," he said.

Oketch claimed that the bill passed through the National Assembly and the Senate despite having errors.

"The National Assembly, whether it was intellectual laziness or goodwill, passed the errors. When it came to the Senate, the bill also given green light with the same errors. So we have no reason to believe that this public participation is genuine."

The National Assembly set May 20 as the deadline for Kenyans to submit their memoranda on the Finance Bill 2023.

According to Molo MP Kuria Kimani, who is also the National Assembly Chairman of the Finance and National Planning Committee, Kenyans would be given a chance to give their views on the bill in two to three weeks.

"From next week, we are going to have the sittings for various stakeholders, hoping we can wait for about two weeks or at worst one week and then get to listen to public views," Kimani said.

The Finance Bill, 2023 seeks to amend the laws relating to various taxes and duties, including a proposal to introduce a new statutory deduction into the National Housing Development Fund at three per cent of gross earnings.