Following five days of questions and answers that were preceded by five days of presentations that formed the national budget debate, the National Assembly at 02:31 hrs this morning (on Republic Day) unanimously passed the 2016 National Budget.
During the wee hours of the Republic Day morning, Finance Minister Winston Jordan rose to report to the Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland that the estimates of expenditures for the year 2016 were approved as printed.
The $230 billion Estimates include the sum of over $17B in statutory allocations.
With quite a few unoccupied seats in the Opposition side of the House, the Appropriation Bill #1 of 2016 was passed clearing the way for the government to get on with its developmental programmes and continuing the work of government.
Unlike last year when the examination of the estimates was concluded in three days, the estimates for 2016 were examined over a period of five days which started on February 15 and saw the House taking a three-day weekend to February 22, 2016.
During the five days that the Committee of Supply went through the estimates, the Government was called on to provide details for each line of expenditure. In most instances the answers provided were satisfactory. In a few, the Government agreed to provide the answers in a few days or the very next day. (GINA)