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HomeNews(PHOTOS) Ruto meets Kenya Kwanza MPs ahead of Finance Bill debate

(PHOTOS) Ruto meets Kenya Kwanza MPs ahead of Finance Bill debate

(PHOTOS) Ruto meets Kenya Kwanza MPs ahead of Finance Bill debate

President William Ruto chaired a key meeting of the Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary Group (PG) at State House on Tuesday, before the review of the Finance Bill, 2024.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and senior parliamentary leaders were also in attendance at the State House.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua arriving at State House for the meeting on June 18, 2024

The president called the meeting to rally MPs in favor of the Finance Bill, addressing concerns from some MPs who had threatened to reject his tax proposals.

On Tuesday, the Departmental Committee on Finance and Planning is set to present its final report on the Bill for the Second Reading, following days of public consultations.

MPs will discuss the report and have the authority to amend parts or the entirety of it during the clause-by-clause review in the Third Reading Stage.

The Finance Bill, 2024 has sparked controversy across the country, with leaders and citizens urging MPs to reject certain harsh tax measures that could adversely affect ordinary people.

President William Ruto with his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi during the Kenya Kwanza Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting at State House on June 18, 2024

The President’s meeting is viewed as a crucial effort to persuade lawmakers to back the Bill amid reports that his deputy was encouraging allies to oppose it.

The Deputy President has faced criticism from some of the President’s supporters, accusing him of inciting tribal divisions with his One Shilling, One Vote campaign.

The State House meeting follows revelations that the Finance Committee might eliminate some of the disputed tax proposals.

Controversial provisions in the Bill include removing bread from zero-rated commodities, imposing a 25% excise duty on crude edible and refined oils, a 2.5% motor vehicle tax, a Sh150 per kilogram eco-levy, and a 3% import declaration fee.

However, the Finance Committee, led by Molo MP Kimani Kuria, recommends reducing the proposed excise duty on vegetable oils from 25% to 5%.

The committee finalized its report in Naivasha on Monday evening after three weeks of public hearings and receiving 500 submissions.

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President Ruto recently urged MPs to pass the 2024/25 national budget, highlighting that several stalled road projects from the previous administration have been included.

Molo MP Kimani Kuria speaking during the meeting at State House on June 18, 2024

During the Akorino Church National Conference in Nakuru on Sunday, the President warned MPs against rejecting the budget, emphasizing the impact on planned road revivals.

“We had many road projects that stalled due to lack of funds. Last year, we aimed to fix the economic issues,” he stated.

Ruto emphasized that the national economy is now stable after nearly 20 months of government restructuring.

“I urge MPs to support us in Parliament because this budget allocates funds for all stalled roads,” Ruto said.

“Projects like the Mau Mau Road and others in Naruku are included in this budget; we intend to revive them with this budget.”

Kenya Kwanza parliamentary group members at State House Nairobi on June 18, 2024

(PHOTOS) Ruto meets Kenya Kwanza MPs ahead of Finance Bill debate

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