By: Kebba AF Touray
The National Assembly Member for Upper Saloum, Hon. AlhagieMbow, has on Thursday 7th September 2023, introduced the bill entitled Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2023, in the Gambia’s legislative house in Banjul.
The bill is to amend the constitution of the Republic of the Gambia, 1997 to extend the time in which the President is required to cause the Minister responsible for Finance to prepare and lay before the National Assembly the estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the Gambia, the time for consideration and approval of the estimates by the assembly.
The bill as indicated is also to extend the time for the consideration of the Appropriation Bill, and for connected matters.
According to the explanatory memorandum, the bill seeks to amend the constitution of the Republic of the Gambia by increasing the time required by the President through the Minister responsible for Finance to lay before the National Assembly the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the following financial year.
The 1997 constitution requires the President of the republic through the Minister responsible for finance to lay before the assembly estimates of revenue and expenditure for the following year at least thirty days before the end of the financial year.
The national assembly is required to give consideration and approved it within fourteen (14) days. As such, the bill seeks to give more time to the National Assembly Members to scrutinize the estimates by making more consultations with stakeholders which is challenging with the current requirements.
In another development, the Member for Nianija, Hon. Amadou Camara, has introduced the bill entitled the Medicines and Related Products Act (Amendment Bill 2023).
The bill seeks to remedy an evident gap in the Medicines and Related Products Act 2014 relating to the issue of registration of medical commodities.
Both bills have successfully sailed through the first reading stage, and they now await the second reading stage of the Assembly which is scheduled for Tuesday 12th September 2023.