By Binta Jaiteh
Allagie S. Darboe Chairperson of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the 2023 fiscal year yesterday presented the consolidated report before the members of the house after the laying of the 2023 budget by Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, on the 14 of November 2022 following a retreat by the members and various ministries on the budget estimate.
During the presentation, the chairperson of the committee noted that the sanding Orders 81 (1), 84 (1), and (2) mandate Committees of the National Assembly to scrutinise and make recommendations on the Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. The findings of the various Committees he said should be submitted to the Finance and Public Account Committee (FPAC) to lay a consolidated report together with a motion for debate.
He submitted that it is against this background that the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) engaged relevant institutions under its purview to scrutinise their respective Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the fiscal year 2023.
In the same vein, he went on, the other Standing and Select Committees also engaged Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) within their remit and submitted findings and recommendations to FPAC which form part of this consolidated report.
Mr. Darboe further reiterated that in scrutinizing the various budget agencies, FPAC considered reducing the budget deficit of D4 billion while the allocations for MDAs were either maintained as presented in the estimates or reduced and reallocated as and when necessary to relevant sectors of the economy.
“Considering the limited resources, coupled with the D4 billion budget deficit, the Committee hereby resolves and recommends to the Assembly for its consideration and approval, the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of the Government for the fiscal year 2023 to be amended” he stated.
He posited that the Committee recommends a total sum of D22,953,091 to be adjusted to the Office of the President to cater for the Satellite institutions and budget items that are deemed inadequate.
However, he said the committee also recommends a total reduction of D56,729,895 from the National Assembly’s budget, and a total reduction of D37,500,000 was the effect on the construction budget line of the Judiciary’s submission.
He lamented that following a careful review of the budget submission from the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies and having carefully studied the various recommendations and observations put forward by the various Committees, the Government continues to operate with a deficit of D4 billion and FPAC’s committed to taking all necessary measures to reduce the budget deficit without detriment to the functionality of government Ministries Department.