President Ruto declines to sign Finance Bill, sends it back to Parliament

President William Ruto has declined to sign the Finance Bill, 2024.

State House sources told the Star that the Bill will be sent back to Parliament before they break for recess today.

The Head of State has also proposed a raft of amendments to the Bill which the MPs will have to consider.

Parliament may amend the Bill in light of the president's reservations or pass it a second time without amending it.

In returning the bill, the president will point out key areas that need to be altered.

If the MPs amend the bill fully accommodating the President's reservations, the speaker shall then resubmit it to the president for assent.

If the House considers the president’s reservations, it may pass it a second time, without amendment, or with amendments that do not fully accommodate his reservations.

This must have, however, been supported by two-thirds of the members.

With the MPs set to go on recess beginning today until July 23, it means that should the President return the document to Parliament the speaker may have to recall them.

Some of the tax proposals which had earlier been introduced in the bill include 16 per cent VAT on bread, Excise duty on vegetable oil, VAT on transportation of sugar, 2.5 per cent Motor Vehicle Tax and Eco Levy on locally manufactured products.

They have since been dropped.

The bill passed the committee of the whole house after these amendments were made.

The committee of the whole house format allows for detailed examination of each clause, ensuring thorough consideration before the bill progresses to subsequent stages of legislative review.