Parliament has deferred the passing of the national budget for the 2016/2017 financial year to next week.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, said in a sitting on Thursday 28 April 2016, that the Budget Committee, which was meant to report on its findings to the House, early this week, was not ready.
“The Ministry of Finance is submitting documents in piecemeal, which is not helping the budget approval process,” said Oulanyah.
“I appeal to the Ministry of Finance to urgently submit all the relevant documents so that this process can move.”
According to the earlier schedules, the Budget Committee was meant to report to the House plenary from April 25th to 26th, 2016.
Following this, the national budget approval and passing of the Appropriation Bill, 2016 was scheduled for Thursday, April 28, 2016.
The Appropriation Bill gives authorisation to government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund Account.
The budget approval process, as provided for by the Public Finance Management Act, 2015, was pulled back by a month to allow for its approval before the end of the 9th Parliament in mid May 2016.
Sectoral committees met to consider Ministerial Policy Statements between March 30th to April 15, 2016 before reporting to the Budget Committee between April 18th and 22nd, 2016.
“We have no choice but to extend the deadline to conclude this process to next week. The Minister of Finance should take note that the delays are being caused by the Ministry, whose officers are not providing the documents,” he said.