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Recall: Assembly enacts over  18 bills in 2021

Jan 6, 2022, 12:50 PM | Article By: Adama Tine 


At least the National Assembly enacted 18 bills after undergoing scrutiny in 2021.

 

 

Part of the bills passed in 2021 includes the Estimate Budget of 2022 Revenues and Recurrent and Development Expenditure, tabled by the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mambureh Njie.

Presenting the bill, Hon. Mambureh Njie revealed that the 2022 budget being presented to the Assembly symbolised their collective commitment in the ongoing reforms and that it was aimed for greater fiscal discipline and transparency.

The Finance and Economic Affairs minister quoted section 152 (1) of the 1997 Constitution which states: that His Excellency the President is required to instruct the Minister of Finance to prepare and submit to the MPs at least 30 days before the end of the financial year.

According to him, government reaffirms its commitment to innovative development financing, which would be additionally joined at the hip with investment in both the social and economic sectors.

He further posited that total revenue and grants in 2022 was projected to reach D29.87 billion, which represents a growth of 16% compared with the 2021 figure of D25.76 billion.

Also, on Thursday, 18 November, Market and Securities Bill 2021 with amendments was tabled at the legislative house during the second ordinary session in the 2021 legislative year.

The Finance minister in tabling the bill for scrutiny, said that the regulating document for Capital and Securities Market is dynamic, transparent, fair and well placed which would contribute to the nation’s development.

“The overriding consideration in the establishment of the above is to create a balance between the needs for regulation of the market on one hand, accountability grievance redress mechanism on the other.”

Moreover, the National Assembly has passed the Persons with Disabilities Bill 2021 on 6 July to plenary and the President assented to the bill on 4th August.

Reacting to the advent of this long-awaited bill of legislation, Muhammad Krubally, chairperson of the Gambia Federation for Disable (GFD), said the bill is one of the most important bills to them.

It was stated that the law will not only recognise people’s rights but also enable people to hold the government accountable where it fails to protect these rights.

Also, on 8 November 2021, the Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh tabled the Health Insurance Bill Scheme.

The bill if available will reduce our expenditure on health families and communities. The Nationality and Citizenship Amendment Bill was also tabled before legislators in 2021.

Going further, the long awaited bill: Access to Information was also passed through the National Assembly after two years of debate. 

The bill gives Gambians the legal right to seek information from public officials and through the courts.

In 2016, Gambia Press Union with the support of civil society organisations initiated the bill and submitted it to National Assembly in December 2019 and since then, the lawmakers have been debating the bill.

The bill allows citizens, journalists, students and civil society organisations to be able to access government data to promote transparency and good governance. It also ensures transparency, strengthens the culture of provision of information and promotes peoples participation and ensures accountability in the conduct of institutions.

On this bill, in December 2019, the Gambia Press Union said it would be an achievement for the country and citizens for democracy and progress.

However, other relevant bills such as Women’s Amendments, Matrimonial Causes Amendments Bill, Civil Marriages, Domestic Violence Bill, Petroleum Commission Bill, Supplementary 2021, Births Deaths and Marriages Amendments Bill 2021 were all passed at the National Assembly.

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