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D100M supplementary appropriation bill passed

Jul 2, 2010, 12:26 PM | Article By: Alieu O. Jabang

The National Assembly recently approved a D100 million supplementary appropriation bill to provide for the services of the Gambia government, for the period 1st January to 31st December 2010.

The bill provides D4 million to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to cater for the movement of diplomatic staff, and D46 million for miscellaneous items, including the GRTS Satellite Link Charges, which will cost D30 million, and for contingency or other charges amounting to D16 million.

The bill also provides D10 million to the Ministry of Agriculture for the Livestock Marketing Agency, to meet the shortfall in funding for the newly created agency.

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare received D40 million in which the Riders For Health (which manages transport for the health sector) will have D15 million to meet the shortfall to the RFH.

Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare will also receive D15 million to meet the shortfall in the purchase of pharmaceuticals, while D10 million was provided for utilities to meet the payment of current and outstanding NAWEC bills.

Introducing the bill, the Vice-President said certain precautions must be taken to meet the demands of our economy, citing the alcoholic beverages tax collection for imported beverages, as an example. Also, the recent measure announced to raise the current price of regular petrol by D5 from D33 to D38 for petrol, and diesel by D1 from D32 to D33.

She further explained to lawmakers that the current price of fuel would help the country to discourage fuel users of other countries, who come to buy fuel in The Gambia at a cheaper price at the expense of our foreign exchange resources. These, she stated, must be discouraged, and prompted the government to take such a measure.

"Rice the staple food, sugar and cement all reflect the international prices as well", adding that, "like these basic commodities, fuel prices will fluctuate with international prices as well."

At this juncture, the Hon. Speaker informed the members that the bill is to be passed under a certificate of urgency, which was dated 17th June 2010, and signed by the President.

After debating the bill, with the participation of the Majority Leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Honourable Sidia Jatta and others, the bill was passed.