The Mombasa county assembly has approved a Sh11.7 billion revised budget for the 2013-14 financial year to be adopted by the Controller of Budgets. The earlier Sh21.9 billion budget was rejected by the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo. Speaking to the press after approving the revised budget on Wednesday, the county assembly finance committee chair Saad Faraj Ahmed said most of the deductions were made from the funds allocated for development. "After thorough deliberations with the finance committee members and other relevant bodies we reduced it by Sh10 billion to meet the requirements of the Controller of Budget," he said. The MCAs, led by Amir Thoya ( Frere Town ), Patrick Simiyu (Tudor) and nominated member Mohammed Hatimy , said the revised budget is suitable for Mombasa residents However Faraj, who is also the Tononoka ward representative, said the committee will in future consider increasing the same amount if proper deliberations are made. Speaker of the Mombasa county assembly Thaddeus Rajwayi said the Finance Bill and other key bills will be debated by the assembly from next week. Last week, the Finance Bill sparked a huge debate among stakeholders over the proposed increase of rent. A section of MCAs led by the Changamwe's Jimmy Odari have threatened to oppose it if it not amended before the debate. Speaking to the Star yesterday, Odari said the bill will double rent in Mombasa if passed unamended. "We are not against the increment. What we are against is the double rent, which tenants in the Buxton, Tudor, Bombolulu and Likoni estates will be charged. We want it to be deliberated properly before it goes through," he said. Tenants in Buxton will be expected to pay a monthly rent of Sh6,000 up from Sh1,900 while rent for shops and other houses will increase from the current Sh2,243 to Sh10,000 - an increase of 400 per cent.
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