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Budget Passed, Rules of Procedure Foregone

Parliament on Friday suspended its rules of procedure and hurriedly passed the budget providing a total of 11.4 trillion shillings as government expenditure for the financial year 2012/2013.

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Parliament on Friday suspended its rules of procedure and hurriedly passed the budget providing a total of 11.4 trillion shillings as government expenditure for the financial year 2012/2013.

In a house that had no quorum, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended some of the rules of procedure and passed the budget without referring the appropriation bill to the budget committee as the rules require.

State minister for finance Fred Omach moved a motion to pass the budget appropriation bill which was read for the first time, the second time, the third time and passed yet the rules of procedure provide that such a bill first goes to the budget committee for scrutiny.

Bukedea Woman MP Rose Akol was concerned about the time frame and the delays in the budget process and urged the executive to respect the timing of every stage as laid down in the budget act.

She said because the Minister of Finance had delayed to table the budget framework paper in the house, the whole process has been delayed and the suspension of rules of procedure has become a habit as the same thing happened last financial year.

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Kadaga however attributed the delay to the MPs themselves. She said most of them want to debate on every issue which she said is not possible.

She said changes need to be made with the help of the whips on choosing who should comment on what issue if parliament is to handle its scheduled business in time.

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The acting Leader of Opposition in Parliament Wafula Oguttu was more concerned about corruption and misuse of public funds by civil servants and some politicians. He said the habit of stealing tax payers’ money and making government programmes to remain unimplemented should stop.

He also urged people in charge of disbursing money to the districts to do so in time so that all activities are carried out as planned.

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The budget which had been in parliament since its second session began in June, has been rocked by a lot of delays and controversies especially over the allocation of 39.2 billion shillings to the health sector. The MPs wanted the health budget increased while the executive insisted that no sector should face budget cuts to add to health.

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