June 21, 2014

Cabinet To Revisit Public Finance Bill

MP David Bahati
MP David Bahati

The Deputy Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement Parliamentary caucus David Bahati has said that cabinet will review the public finance Bill currently before Parliament to settle the issue of royalties.

The bill seeks to ensure prudent public financial management notably the management of the revenues accruing from the oil and gas industry.

Bahati, who was addressing the Parliamentary reporters on Friday, said that the issue of how royalties are going to be shared has become contentious and that the ruling party has thought it wise to go over it again so that it doesn’t destabilise the communities.

The Ndorwa West MP said that the NRM caucus which sat on Thursday agreed that the matter should be taken back to cabinet for further consultation to reach a harmonised position before it comes up for debate in the House. He said that while the party agrees with the committees’ recommendations on royalties, some people especially the cultural institutions don’t agree with either what is stipulated in the bill or the committees’ recommendations.

The committees that were given the task of scrutinising the bill recommended that government should take 93 percent of the revenues and the 7 percent be allocated to local governments, one percent of which will go to cultural institutions.

The cultural institutions, however, don’t agree with it saying that having to get one percent from the seven percent allocated to local governments will reduce them to beggars and they will be at the mercy of the local governments.

Bahati says cabinet will sit and discuss the matter further as it is a sensitive one adding the party aims at ensuring that all groups are catered for. He said that because it is important that government resolves the issue before the bill comes up for debate in the house, cabinet will be expected to have concluded the matter in two weeks.

The committees which include Finance, Natural Resources, Budget and National Economy presented their report to parliament last month and it awaits debate.

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