Afternoon deadline set for MPs’ budgetary amendment proposals

MPs had been given until 4pm this afternoon to recommend amendments for the 2011 State budget after the completion of a parliamentary joint committee evaluation on Thursday, Ahmed Nazim, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament has said.

Nazim has said that following a multi-party evaluation that took place last week by both members of the country’s finance and economic committees, the 2011 budget is expected to be tabled tomorrow in front of parliament, with discussions expected to take a few days.

The passing of the annual budget is constitutionally required to be completed before the end of the previous calendar year, with the government said to be keen on spending cuts as part of plans to try and reduce the country’s budget deficit to about 16 per cent.

There had been concern over when the evaluation process was set to be completed; however, it is thought that there will be a few days worth of debate as within parliament as members attempt to ensure amendments within the final expenditure document before passing it through the Majlis.

The government is under considerable pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce the budget deficit, which President Mohamed Nasheed last month said was around 26.5 per cent.

Acting finance minister Mahmood Razee today said that he believed there had been “no major changes” to the main objectives of the budget during the evaluation, particularly in regards to the predicted deficit.

“We believe that the 16 per cent figure will be maintained,” said Razee in relation to the government’s stated aim of trying to cut the deficit.However, with a deadline on member-supported amendments set for this afternoon in parliament, Razee added that there could be a number of recommended changes yet imposed on the final budget.

“Any potential changes will now depend on amendments being supplied by MPs,” he said. “We expect the final vote to take place about December 29.”

However, there has been some criticisms of the budget – both among opposition MPs like Ahmed Nazim and independent members like Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed – over claims that there is insufficient detail about the exact nature of certain government spending projects.

Nasheed, an independent MP who was not involved with the evaluation committee, said last week that he had identified some preliminary concerns over spending allocation, particularly in areas such as decentralization, despite stating optimism the budget would be passed before the New Year deadline.


One thought on “Afternoon deadline set for MPs’ budgetary amendment proposals”

  1. Is it not time the media stopped using self-claimed adjectives to describe MPs and call a spade a spade?
    "Independent My Foot" Mohamed "Kutti" Nasheed is more like it.


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