National Assembly members Monday unanimously amended and approved the 2013 Budget Appropriation Bill entitled "An Act to provide for the services of The Gambia from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the period 1st January 2013 to 31st December 2013", at the National Assembly chambers in Banjul. The approval now gives government the green light to allocate a total of D5, 994, 603, 477 to the different goverment institutions that derive their funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund as well as debt servicing.
The allocations for additional expenditures are as follows: Office of The President, D346, 106, 647; National Assembly Services, D 53, 384, 184; Judiciary, D50, 590, 878; Independent Electoral Commission, D19, 660, 712; Public Service Commission, D3, 366, 672; National Audit Office, D17, 635, 781; Ministry of Defence, D372, 304, 616; Ministry of Interior, D378, 306, 666; Ministry of Tourism, D16, 620, 892; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, D403, 028, 632; Ministry of Justice, D42, 203, 985; Ministry of Finance, D382, 654, 011; Pensions and Gratuities, D95, 925, 000; Office of the Ombudsman, D17, 086, 517; Miscellaneous, D111, 420, 000; Ministry of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers, D43, 882, 970; Ministry of Agriculture, D272, 111, 909;
Ministry of Works, Construction and Infrastructure, D166, 027, 424; Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, D 60, 377, 281; Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, D751, 022, 737; Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, D450, 652, 298; Ministry of Youths and Sports, D28, 259, 112; Ministry of Forestry and the Environment, D19, 027, 684; Ministry of Information and Communication and Infrastructure, D15, 676, 641; Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, D36, 954, 215; Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, D110, 182,124; Ministry of Energy, D16, 740,452; Ministry of Petroleum, D11, 956, 003; TOTAL for Budget Entities D4, 293, 166, 043 and National Debt Service D1, 701, 437, 434. The grand total appropriation amounts to D5, 994, 603, 477.
Hon. Sainey Mbye, NAM for Upper Saloum, described this year's budget as the best so far, noting that it details out what the Assembly has been yearning for. He therefore commended the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs for a job well done. "There is no salary increment yet the tax that was levied on income has been reduced and that is a good move," he said.
Hon. Seedy SK Njie, nominated member, described the bill as a very important one, noting that the detailed budget speech by the minister demonstrates his commitment to the service of the Republic of The Gambia. "It is a realistic budget and demonstrates government's policy in ensuring that financial discipline is maintained," he stated, while citing the numerous developments registered in the productive sectors of the country. He concluded by thanking the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the government for a wonderful budget that seeks to improve the welfare of the people.
Other members who spoke included Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, member for Serrekunda East and Majority leader; Hon. Foday Jallow, NAM for Niamina East; Hon. Pamalick Ceesay, NAM for Lower Saloum; Hon. Sheriff Misba Hydara, NAM for Lower Niumi; Hon. Babou Gaye Sonko, nominated member; and Hon. Bintanding Jarju, NAM for Foni Bintang.