Somalia MPs have been discussing the 2013 draft budget document prepared by the Council of Ministers and tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Mohamud Hassan Suleyman.
The Minister distributed copies of the country's US$ 103,893,000 budget for 2013 to the MPs for approval. Discussions have concentrated on a number of areas including emphasis on the distribution of the proposed budget to administrative matters, social services such as education and health, and infrastructure sectors including state buildings, roads and other basic aspects seen as central to reviving the wellbeing of the Somali people as a whole. As part of their meetings on the budget, the MPs convened on Wednesday (December 26th) and finalized discussions with a demand that the Cabinet should re-submit a more refined and acceptable budget proposal.
Of the 164 MPs present for the session, 70 voted against the budget, and fifty for, with 44 abstentions. Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari told the Minister that the government now had thirty days to amend the budget and then bring it back to Parliament for approval. It seems the MPs want to see a different and what they consider a more realistic distribution of resources, more in line with the Provisional Constitution, with greater emphasis on the security sector including stipends for members of the armed forces and on social services (particularly education and health). Overall, the MPs want the distribution to be based on the priorities of the economic pillars of the country.