The Ministries of Agriculture and the Finance and Economic Affairs on Tuesday reappeared before the National Assembly select committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for the distribution of the 2023 budgetary allocation.
Speaking at the meeting with various ministries to settle the discrepancies between the estimates and the approved budget, Omar Jato Jammeh member of the committee said as members they don’t have the powers to either reduce or add the budget but it will be ideal for the two ministries to sit and discuss this matter amicably.
“It is important to direct our finances to operations. I also believe we should reconsider how we think these funds should be directed more especially around the development budget,” he explained
Francis Mendy, Director of Planning, added that during their last meeting it was the select committee that proposed for the two ministries to meet and see where the gap lies, adding that the committee further asked them to go and prepare a request which was done and shared.
“I went to the Ministry to find out whether the letter that has been sent is received but according to the Ministry of Finance their response was in the negative,”
He recalled that later they received information that the letter was confirmed with a request for reallocation but some of the budget line items the ministry of finance outlined were mere operating cost for projects, and once that is tampered those projects will end up suffering.
“The problem was not still solved and then we made a request for allocation of funds to be able to fulfill those gaps not meeting the requirement they tried to propose,” Mr. revealed.
However, Mustapha Samateh, the director of budget said they can only give advice on reallocation of budget but the issue of increment is beyond their mandate.