Assembly approves Supplementary Appropriation Bill, goes into recess |17 December 2021
The National Assembly met yesterday morning for its last sitting of the year during which Minister Naadir Hassan presented a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to regularise expenses made through two supplementary budgets for members’ approval, before the House went into recess.
It is in accordance with Article 154(7) of the Constitution that the Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade Naadir Hassan presented the supplementary budget appropriation for the year 2020 for Assembly members’ consideration and approval.
“It is to be recalled that on December 10, 2020 the National Assembly approved a resolution for a supplementary budget of R1.1 billion. The resolution also made provision for a budget cut of R336.2 million. Earlier this week the Assembly also approved a resolution for a supplementary budget relating to expenses made in 2020 following a completed audit and this is for a sum of R86,895,362.15 which is mostly related to expenses made under different grants,” Minister Hassan told Assembly members.
Minister Hassan went on to point out that the year 2021 has been one where there has been a lot of pressure on government budget and to top it all there was a lot of uncertainty in revenue collections brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic which has had severe impact on our economy, world growth and public health the world over.
Minister Hassan further added that the pandemic deepened our socio-economic woes pushing the economy to contract by 9.9% and our primary fiscal position to a deficit of 15.1% of our Gross Domestic Product while the government’s debt increased from 58% to 92.2%.
He went on to detail expenses made under the first supplementary budget of R1.1 billion approved last year.
With regard to expenses made under the second supplementary budget of
R86,895,362.15 that the Assembly approved earlier this week, Minister Hassan reminded members that the sum is related to expenses made under different grants as has been clearly detailed.
He noted that often during the budget preparation process the finance ministry had not received all the necessary information related to different grants to include in the budget.
He went on to stress that all expenses made under different grants subsequently go to the department of finance to be processed.
Minister Hassan went on to detail once again the different allocations under this supplementary budget.
There was no debate as this had already been carried out in previous Assembly sittings.
Members voted 28 votes for, none against with one abstention to regularise the expenses.
Minister Hassan then on behalf of his fellow ministers went on to thank the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Roger Mancienne, for the fruitful working relationship and collaboration the legislative and the executive have had in 2021.
“Work was really intense but we worked really well on numerous matters and a lot of laws were debated and approved and I thank the Assembly’s Bills Committee for its hard work and for delivering on time even after often working under very tight timeframe. I hope during 2022 this good working relationship continues in the interest and benefit of the people and our country,” Minister Hassan remarked.
He took the opportunity to wish the people of Seychelles a merry Christmas and prosperity for the coming new year.
Speaker Roger Mancienne thanked the cabinet of ministers and the different technicians and officials for their collaboration and time spent in the House, all the MNAs and Assembly secretariat staff for their hard work.
“I am very happy that we have worked efficiently as an Assembly and I particularly appreciate the spirit of cooperation and unity in which for most of the time the Assembly has conducted its work and I believe the unity should be an example for our people to follow,” said Mr Mancienne.
He went on to join his voice to that of Minister Hassan and other Assembly members to wish the President, the cabinet of ministers and the people of Seychelles a merry Christmas and a more prosperous and happy new year 2022.
On behalf of her caucus, chief whip for United Seychelles, Sylvanne Lemiel, remarked that the year 2021 has been a challenging one for many people as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect our lives.
“But while some people are celebrating an achievement or something good in their lives, there are many others who are mourning the loss of a loved one or suffering for many other reasons. We thank God for all the good things and we sympathise with those in pain. I hope that 2022 will be a more prosperous year for all of us,” Hon. Lemiel pointed out.
“For all of us parliamentarians we have worked well together in 2021 and I hope that this good working relationship continues in the new year,” she added.
She went on to commend the good working relationship with the different ministries, departments and agencies and expressed the hope that 2022 will be a more fruitful year.
For his part the chief whip for LDS caucus, Sandy Arrissol, thanked Speaker Mancienne for his guidance and his fellow parliamentarians for their hard work and joined his voice to others before him to thank the cabinet of ministers for their support and cooperation.
He also had Christmas and new year wishes for the people of Seychelles.
“Christmas is a time to be spent and enjoyed with family but the new year is a time to reflect on the future and on what we wish for next year, what we can do to help ourselves, our family so that the country can help us,” said Hon. Arrissol.
He expressed the hope that we can all, in spite of our challenges and life’s difficulties, welcome the New Year with joy.
The clerk of the Assembly Tania Isaac noted for her part that again this year the Assembly secretariat has shown its resilience, perseverance and teamwork in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic by surmounting all challenges to remain the engine that drives the effective function of the House as well as ensuring the secretariat achieves its strategic priorities and projects.
The National Assembly will resume next year after the President delivers his State of the Nation Address.