By Binta Jaiteh
The National Assembly select committee on Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) has recommended the augmentation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) budget to the sum of D7,123,900 to enable the commission to continue its services on the protection and promotion of Human Rights.
During the committee’s presentation of the report to plenary after the scrutinization of the 2023 Draft Estimate Budget last week, Allagie S Darboe the chairperson of the FPAC Committee recommended that MoFEA create a new budget line for gratuities as per the submission of the Commission.
According to him, he said the public enterprise committee for the endorsement of performance contracts between the government and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
He noted that henceforth, government subsidies to SOEs should be based on the dividends paid. Government should establish a dividend payment policy that indicates a standard threshold for the payment of dividends by SoEs from their profits.
“A general study should be conducted by the financial and operational performance of SoEs to understand their challenges and provide remedies to ensure their viability,” he said
He explained that the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government Committee recommends a total sum of D6,075,000 to be augmented to the Ministry’s budget and be allocated to specific budget lines as per the addendum to this report
The select committee on environmentally sustainable development and NGO affairs, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Wildlife, the Committee made a saving of D1,925,000.00 from some budget lines under the Ministry’s Recurrent Budget. However, D850,000,000 was reallocated to some budget lines under the same recurrent budget.
However, a balance of D1,075,000 and a saving of D3,400,000.00 from the Ministry’s Development Budget were also made. On the said savings, the Committee recommends that amounts be added to the D65,000,0000.00 under budget line 2622101 under Strategy Policy and Management -MECCNAR (Contribution to International Organization -Capital).
The Committee also agreed with the recommendation made by the Ministry that the budget line 2511101 Non-Fin Public Corp. OC of D6,000,000 be reallocated to 2511102 Subvention to Non-financial Public Corporation to cater for National Environment Agency’s Emoluments for the 2023 fiscal year to avoid shortage.
Regarding the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, the Committee recommends allocations to be made for the Construction of the Office Complex for the Department of Fisheries. Additionally, the Committee recommends an additional allocation of D2, 000,000 for the creation of Fishponds and Water Breeding facilities (3111302) Operating Costs (2221124) which was zero, be raised to D500,000.
The Committee observed that despite lapses in the implementation of Fishing and Fisheries regulations, the conditions of fish landing sites on the coast and the interior are hugely deteriorating. Thus, immediate maintenance of all fish-landing sites across the country is needed.
On the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Committee recommends that total deductions of D1,150,000 be reallocated to budget line 2218111 – Land Compensation under General Administration (Development Budget) to cater for the Ministry’s compensation package to the affected communities during the expansion of the rural electrification projects.