The Consolidated Report on the Committees’ consideration of the 2023 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of the Republic of The Gambia by the Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly considered the reduction of the budget deficit of D4 billion as the debate on the budget begin on Thursday.

Tabling the report before the plenary in Banjul, the Chairperson of FPAC and National Assembly Member for Brikama North, Minority Leader, Alhagie S Darbo stated that the allocations for MDAs were either maintained as presented in the estimates or reduced and reallocated as and when necessary to relevant sectors of the economy.

According to the FPAC report, the Committee, in consideration of the limited resource envelope, coupled with the D4 billion budget deficit, resolved and recommended the consideration and approval of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of the Government for the fiscal year 2023 to reflect a revised estimate of D25,183,676,321 from the initial appropriation of D22,126,397,614 which represents a D3,057,278,707 increment in the budget.

The report was developed following budget bilaterals with various Committees of the Assembly with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies under their purview.

“Following a careful review of the budget submission from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies and having carefully studied the various recommendations and observations put forward by the various Committees; noting that the Government continues to operate with a deficit of D4 billion; and FPAC’s commitment to take all necessary measures to reduce the budget deficit without detriment to the functionality of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the Committee resolves to recommend the following:

i. That Government considers coming up with a new vehicle policy and Internal Audit should come up with control measures;
ii. MoFEA urgently implement a revenue audit across government institutions and furnish FPAC on its findings to improve on the domestic revenue mobilization;
iii. MoFEA to critically consider improving on their revenue base particularly maximizing the extractive industry and fisheries sectors;
iv. The budget deficit should be reduced regardless of any recommendation for increment;
v. That the recommendations of various Committees be considered for endorsement where feasible;
vi. That MDAs should move to Cash Powers instead of the normal NAWEC billing system;
vii. The government should consider investing in renewable energy to curtail the exponential rise in the cost of electricity across MDAs.”

The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs tabled the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the 2023 fiscal year before the National Assembly on Monday, 14th November 2022 for its consideration and approval in accordance with Section 152 of the 1997 Constitution.

Standing Orders 81 (1), 84 (1) and (2) mandate Committees of the National Assembly to scrutinise and make recommendations on the Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. The findings of the various Committees were submitted to the Finance and Public Account Committee (FPAC) to lay a consolidated report together with a motion for debate.