By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has revealed that the 2015 Budget Estimates presented to the National Assembly by Finance Minister Winston Jordan are unconstitutional and against two of the first set of legislation passed by the new Government.
Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall said the Budget is “inconsistent with and in violation of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2015 (Act No. 2 of 2015) and the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Act 2015 (Act No. 4 of 2015) both passed by the 11th Parliament and that portions of those Estimates or the Estimates in their entirety, maybe unlawful, null, void and of no effect.”
According to Nandlall, the Budget provides funds for the Guyana Elections Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and several other constitutional bodies under Ministries and government agencies when this should not be the case in accordance with the two pieces of legislation.
Effectively, the law now provides that these Bodies be independent and therefore should appear under a different line item in the Budget.
“We examined the estimates to see whether they confirm to these two pieces of legislation…we found that the estimates in their current form are violative of the two legislation…It was accepted by the government as they were constructed are in violation of these two legislation,” said Nandlall at a press conference in Parliament building.
It was related that the two sides arrived at a consensus to pass a motion to amend the budget to reflect funding for constitutional agencies in a manner that is reflective of the correct process.
Consideration of the 2015 Estimates were supposed to commence at 9:00 AM on Monday; however that has been delayed as the two sides sought consensus on the issue.