National Assembly approves Appropriation Bill 2021
April 13, 2021
The Appropriation Bill 2021 has been approved by the National Assembly.
Members took the final vote on the bill this morning.
The bill was approved by 24 votes in Favour and 10 Abstentions.
This year, the total budget is R11,013,648.296, which is less than the 2020 total budget, which amounted to R11.586 billion.
The three largest allocations are;
- Benefits and Approved programs of Agency for Social Protection- R1425,540 million
- Health Care Agency – R1301,931 million
- Ministry of Education – R1043,293 million
The budget was presented before the National Assembly on 16th February 2021, by the Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan.
He explained that the 2021 budget has two main objectives;
Firstly, “ensure that our financial situation is stabilized and to ensure our debt sustainability. These measures will also help towards the better management of our country’s resources through good governance.”
Secondly, “bring to the fore, the new policies that this new government has put in place in order to boost our economy, which has been brought to its knees by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our ambition is to bring about a comprehensive transformation that will create wealth for our people.”
MNAs started giving their response to the budget speech on Friday 19th February and on Wednesday 24th February, the Minister gave his reply.
The National Assembly went into Committee Stage on Thursday 25th February, where a list of ministries and other budget dependent entities had to defend their budget, by answering questions of MNAs. The process to choose which entity is to come before the National Assembly is undertaken by the legislative branch of government in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade.
This year, the Committee Stage process took about a month.
In his message of thanks, Minister Hassan once again reiterated the main objectives of this year’s budget;
- Budget sustainability and stabilizing the foreign exchange market
- Relaunching and transforming the country’s economy
He said since he presented the budget speech, there’s been new developments, which are helping to kick start the economy, from the success of the vaccination programme against the COVID-19 pandemic, to the bold decision of the government to reopen the country’s borders.
The foreign exchange market has also not only stabilized but is now going down. He gave the example of Nouvobanq, where today, 13th April, is selling a Dollar at R17.14, compared to when he presented the budget on 16th February, where it was selling the same currency at R21.80.
He has given the government’s commitment to the National Assembly that the budget will be spent according to the laws and regulations in place.
“Let me reassure the National Assembly, of the government’s commitment that all budget dependent entities will utilize their allocated budget according to the laws and regulations in place.”
With the approval by the National Assembly, the Appropriation Bill 2021 will be sent to the President to be assented .