By: Kebba AF Touray
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the Gambia’s National Assembly, has cut down the sum of seven hundred and eighty million, seven hundred and ninety-three thousand, eight hundred and seventeen dalasi and ninety-five bututs (D780, 793,817.95), from the supplementary appropriation bill following thorough scrutiny by Member of the Committee. The total sum of the Supplementary Bill which was D3, 386, 250,000 and pursuant to Standing Order 681, was referred to the FPA Committee for review and report to the plenary.
The Member for Upper Saloum Alagie Mbowe, in laying the report of FPAC on behalf of Sidia Jatta, said following the submission of the Bill, the Committee is of the view that the Supplementary Estimates are meant to cater for COVID-19 and other related activities including salaries of some public enterprises and Local Government Councils with salary arrears due to the pandemic; that the Committee considered the deletion of humanitarian relief amounting to D845 million; procurement of medical equipment amounting to D500 million and the construction of a mausoleum for D15 million.
“The Committee argued that since the sums for humanitarian relief and procurement of medical equipment and supplies were already spent, the amounts should be removed as this is against Section 153 of the Constitution,” Mbowe said; that the Committee similarly recommended that the cost for the construction of mausoleum be deleted and deferred to the 2021 budget. He said the new items proposed an increase of D250 million to the Health Ministry; D11, 519,000 to the Financial Reporting Oversight Board and D46, 772,841.25 as support to Councils.
“The Committee having thoroughly scrutinized and revised the Supplementary Estimates, recommends approval of the revised sum of D2, 605, 456,182.05 as opposed to the original sum of D3, 386,250,000.
The Finance and Public Accounts Committee hereby submits for consideration by the whole house, adoption of the 2020 Supplementary Estimates as revised,” Mbowe said.
The amount proposed by FPAC once adopted, will be the final supplementary budgetary allocation to the State to serve the purposes for which it aspires to address.