Friday, February 3

The 2023 Budget should not be passed at this crucial moment – Hon Madi Ceesay

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By: Nyima Sillah

Honorable Madi Ceesay, National Assembly Member for Serrekunda West Constituency said the 2023 Budget should not be passed at this crucial moment.

In an interview with The Voice a few days after the debate on the 2023 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of the Republic of The Gambia, Honorable Cessay said “This budget as far as I am concerned, with this crucial moment it should not pass because it is at the disadvantage of the ordinary Gambians.

“Only a small chunk of Gambians are pocketing the highly high tax that Gambians are paying to their pockets because we are running a budget with a deposit of 4 billion dalasi and yet we still giving more burdens to that budget like increasing salaries.

“If you look at the salary now from the GLF 85% goes to personal emoluments like salaries and allowances only 15% goes to development. How can this country develop with only 15% going to develop and the rest going to people’s pockets?” he asked.

He suggested that the entire government should re-look at the budget and the salary issues because the Gambia has a sick economy, fragile and one cannot go with these millions of dalasi as personal emolument. Adding that is not possible as the country cannot develop with only 15% budget for development.

“This is the worst budget and this budget has not come to develop the country but it has come to ruin this country and enrich the few who are opportune enough to hold positions in government,” he argued.

Meanwhile, he said there should have been an emendation salary revision commission established by the president to look at the salaries and restructure them instead of the president going home with D3,060,000 which should reverse to at least D1.5 million.

“Once it starts from the president then it will tickle done to everybody so that the personal emoluments will reduce, the budget deposit will reduce, and monies for development budget will increase that is the only way we can develop.

He noted that last year the office of the ministers was earning five hundred and twenty-seven million nine hundred and ninety-four dalasi. Adding that this year, that has increased to seven hundred and eighty thousand dalasi meaning they have a basic salary of sixty-five thousand dalasi for the ministers.

“This whole salary issue is just killing the economy of this country so nobody is exempted. The money that goes to our development budget is too small to take this country up,” he explained.