The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has approved a total of $1.68 million as supplementary budget for expenditure at its new headquarters (HQ) project which was inaugurated in Arusha, Tanzania recently.
The money would be spent on purchasing the ICT, kitchen and security equipment for the new complex constructed at a cost of 16 million Euros through a grant from German. It will also be spent on putting tarmac at the HQ’s parking area.
The supplementary budget for the financial year 2012/12013 which was passed as the House adjourned after a two-week meeting in Arusha, amounted to $ 2.37 million, according to a press release issued over the weekend by Eala senior public relations officer Bobi Odiko.
Presenting the estimates, the chair of the Council of Ministers and minister of State charged with EAC affairs of Uganda, Mr Shem Bageine, said the budget covers seven major items, including purchase of additional equipment for the new EAC HQ. Giving details, he said, a total of $626,797 would be spent on ICT equipment - $245,641 for purchasing of kitchen equipment, $229,344 for upgrading of the parking area, and $ 582,502 for security equipment.
Other areas covered by the supplementary budget include rent for two quarters ($284,000), Election Observation Mission ($235,300) and first edition of the EAC Art and Cultural Festival and Sports ($166,580).
The minister stated that the rent for July to December 2012 could not be foreseen because the anticipation then was to move into the new HQ complex by June 2012.
Meanwhile, Eala passed the East African Community Customs Management (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2012. The Bill was moved by the chair of the Council of Ministers, Mr Bageine.
He said the Bill was expected to fill the gap left by the Customs Management Act 2004 expected to expire on December 31, 2012.
The law also provides for the role of customs of Partner States, as responsible for day to day operations of customs, including revenue collection, enforcement of the act and management of customs personnel.
Earlier on, the chairperson of the Committee on Communications, Trade and Investments, Ms Angela Kizigha, presented a report of the committee on the proposed amendments. In its recommendations, the Committee said it was imperative to recommend for the amendment of the Customs Management Act, 2004.
On Thursday, the EAC Council of Ministers chair, Mr Bageine, had sought to introduce the Bill without publication, citing its urgent nature pursuant to Rule 62 of the Procedure of the assembly.
The motion was, however, defeated with the speaker ruling that it would have to be introduced afresh and have the same procedurally go through the relevant committee.