The Parliamentary Leadership Committee has pushed the Finance Bill to be endorsed at the end of the eighth parliamentary meeting to give members of Parliament the chance to advice the government on other sources of income.
However, the Speaker of the National Assembly Speaker Anne Makinda warned the MPs to use the extended time to debate the budget and not politics.
The Finance Bill is normally passed after debating the government budget but this time it will be endorsed after all the ministries have tabled their budgets.
Announcing the decision reached by the Steering Committee yesterday Makinda said that according to research many Commonwealth parliaments pass the Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill at the end of the budget debate.
“We have made follow ups and realized that budget review process start early and completed before the new fiscal year. The Parliament was supposed to start reviewing the budget earlier so that the budget meeting ends by June 30 to allow the finance bill to come into effect July 1,” she said.
Makinda said according to views collected from MPs, and the parliamentary committee for finance and economy and that government can collect revenue before passing that Finance Bill the bill will be endorsed at the end of the eighth parliamentary meeting.
She said the decision will also provide ample time to Finance committee and Minister of Finance to discuss the bill before it is tabled to the parliament.’
“Following the changes the budget debate will be for five days instead of four and will end on Friday and the budget will be endorsed the same day,” Makinda said,.
The Speaker however called upon the lawmakers to use the time extended for debating budget and give views that will help to improve it and not to discuss politics.
Makinda said she has been receiving a number of calls from wananchi expressing their disappointment on what was happening in the National Assembly.
“If the time for endorsing the finance bill has been extended and you continue to discuss something else you will be not helping the government…you should discuss budget how to increase revenue or reduce expenditure and not abusive language,” she said.
Makinda added: “I call upon you to reinstate the respect of the parliament I have been telling you several times wananchi are seeing you…they have elected you to present their problems here but your discussing something,” else
She said every MP who stood to debate the budget should think of his/her voters and not something else.