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NAMs scrutinize 2011 draft budget estimates

Nov 29, 2010, 11:09 AM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Members of the National Assembly Friday wrapped up a two-day pre-budget retreat ahead of preparations for the 2011 budget estimates to be presented to parliament for due consideration and approval by members.

The retreat, held at the Tendaba Camp in the Lower River Region, availed members the opportunity to critically analyse the annual draft budget estimates of the Government of The Gambia.

Organised by the National Assembly, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Industrial Development, the retreat also gave members the opportunity to collectively examine the core policy strategies and objectives of the government.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hon. Abdoulie Bojang, the Speaker of the National Assembly, underscored the importance of the retreat.

As elected representatives of the people, he says, they are inclined to put emphasis on the social priority sectors of health, education and agriculture.

This, he adds, is not to limit their interest to only these priority sectors, as all other sectors and cross-cutting issues are equally important.

"The bottomline is that the Government of The Gambia is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and the National Assembly as the legislative arm of the government is, therefore, obliged to be equally responsive to and responsible for the needs and aspirations of all sectors, regions and the people of The Gambia," Speaker Bojang stated.

According to him, the pre-budget retreat for this year was expanded to include other priority sector presentations and orientations.

"The Ministry of Economic Planning and Industrial Development is to provide the much-needed expert orientation for National Assembly members to better understand the core functions and policy priorities of the government’s new emphasis on central planning, programme budgeting, industrial development and export/investment promotion," the Speaker added.