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Sunday, January 17, 2021

NAMs adopt D10bn plus budget

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This development came yesterday during a scrutiny sitting of the 2015 budget proposal by the lawmakers that was presented to the house by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs on Friday.

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House Majority Leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, said the world is witnessing a global economic order that is full of shocks. 

“This appropriation bill is a well-designed one as it maps out strategies and ways forward. Indeed, it is a well-informed budget. It is informed because the minister has told us that there are robust measures in place to raise and collect taxes; that there is also need for public enterprise reform to serve the people better and prioritise efficient revenue spending.

“The forecast of 10 billion dalasi expenditure that the finance minister presented to this House on Friday may come down and because of the external shocks, the government has shown commitment to reduce domestic borrowing from 10 percent to 1 percent of GDP. 

“As I told the House when seconding the motion on Friday, when the budget was being presented, if this is achieved next year, the whole House will give the minister a standing ovation. On the external shocks, and given the erratic rainfall patterns and climate change, it is highly welcomed that government is spending on irrigation and value mechanisation. There is also need for us to diversify electricity supply for us to attract investment.”

While responding to questions from the lawmakers, Finance Minister, Kebba Satou Touray, commented: “The Member for Serekunda West, requested clarification on the issue of the Major Tender Board and let me say that the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) is an exhibiting agency and does not perform procurement functions. The new Major Tender Board is going to be a procuring board, meaning they are going to conduct procurement activities. GPPA only provides oversight to ensure that the procuring agencies procure according to the laid down procedures. 

“The Member for Upper Niumi talked about the importance of giving quarterly briefings over the budget implementation. I think it is important and at the level of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, monitoring is done on a monthly basis but as to whether the information comes to parliament is another matter. I can assure you that budget implementation is going to be a matter of close scrutiny, especially as we move into 2015. And to the extent that you require any information or update, my ministry is ready to cooperate. For the Member for Lower Niumi on the need to expand electricity and water supply system in Barra, this has been fully taken and I am sure government’s plan is countrywide and on rural electrification, the target is rural Gambia.” 


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