EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Deputies at the National Assembly Wednesday continued their debate on the 2020 appropriation budget that was tabled before them by finance Minister Mamburay Njie, last week, with Illiassa NAM expressing disappointment with the finance ministry over the whooping amount placed on water, electricity and sewage.
Dembo KM Camara dilated on page 67 of the document, saying he is ‘disappointed’ by the ministry of finance. “With all their intelligence and the caliber of staff, water, electricity and sewage was up to 30 million dalasi in 2019 and I was expecting it to reduce in 2020.”
Mr Camara said the Ministry in fact does not understand what they meant by operational cost. He said in 2019, the operational cost was about 40 million dalasi while in 2020, it is about 40 to 42 million dalasi. “What is the meaning of that?” he questioned.
The Illiassa NAM observed that the ministry should go back to the drawing board and do its homework properly so that Deputies will be able to cope with them, saying the content of the document did not have any benefit to the poor people.
Foni Bintang Karanai NAM, Ebrima Solo Jammeh based his intervention on funding, pointing out that government plans to spend 30 billion dalasi in 2020 while the projected revenue is 13.6 billion dalasi. “This mean there is a gap of 16.4 billion dalasis.”
He said he is concerned and deeply worried about the physical state of the country’s economy considering that the gap of 16.4 billion is mainly from budget support and loans including domestic borrowing.
Representative of Sami Constituency, Alfusainey Ceesay said the Wednesday sitting it is one of the most important sessions of the National Assembly because it affects every citizen. “Therefore, it is not an individual engagement. Let us all look at it critically in favor of our electorates.
He said education, health and agriculture are among the most important areas of Gambia’s economy.
Story written by Amie Faye