General discussions on the bill took place during a plenary sitting of the House last night.
The Senate witnessed anthill activities on December 9, 2019 as Senators first of all in the morning participated in the plenary sitting of the House in which was tabled two bills that were: Finance Bill for 2020 financial year and the bill to authorise the President of the Republic to proceed with the Accession to the Agreement Establishing the African Trade Insurance Agency, signed on 18 May 2000. These bills were forwarded to the Senate by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril after their adoption by the National Assembly.
The night was therefore a crucial moment for Senators as there was the general debate in the entire House with regard to the Finance Bill for 2020 financial year. At the beginning of the plenary sitting, the presiding Senior Vice President of the Senate, Aboubakary Abdoulaye cited Article 30 (3) of the Standing Orders of the Senate which provides that the Chairmen's Conference can decide that instead of the Committee, a bill can be submitted to general debate by the whole House in plenary. He therefore specified that the plenary sitting was dedicated essentially for the general debate on the finance bill for 2020 financial year in which cabinet ministers would answer questions concerning the budgetary allocations for their ministries. Senator Aboubakary Abdoulaye said in a plenary sitting today, December 10, 2019, the bill will be adopted without any other discussion.
After the opening remarks by the Senior Vice President of the Senate, Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze presented succinctly the finance bill for 2020. The draft budget is balanced in revenue and expenditure at FCFA 4951.7 billion, representing a decrease of FCFA 260.3 billion or 5 per cent in relative terms compared with that of 2019 financial year which stood at FCFA 5212 billion. He explained that the budget was prepared within a macroeconomic context marked by a slow down in global growth due to trade tensions, as well as persistent socio-political and security crises and the satisfactory implementation of the Economic and Financial Programme (EFP) agreed upon by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He said the draft budget reflects the desire to consolidate the budget, sustain positive growth and protect vulnerable social groups through special emphasis on social measures. The draft budget projection was prepared based on the assumption of an economic growth rate of 4 per cent and an overall budget deficit of 2.1 per cent.
By the time of going to press, Senators were asking questions to cabinet ministers. The plenary sitting took place in the presence of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, Wakata Bolvine.