[www.inewsguyana.com] – In light of the High Court ruling that the Opposition cannot ‘cut’ the country’s budget, Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman has proposed that a sub – committee be established to consider the proposed amendments to the 2014 National Budget.
According to Trotman, a sub-committee of the Committee of Supply will be constituted and will have no less than seven members comprising, four members from the Opposition and three members of the Government.
This sub – committee will be chaired by the Speaker. The Speaker explained to the National Assembly that the aim of the sub – committee is to examine proposals for amendments and to find agreement wherever possible.
He explained that it will be up to the government to accept or reject the amendments to the estimates.
Trotman also made it clear that the National Assembly has the right to regulate its own business and rejected the ruling by the Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang that it cannot amend the budget estimates.
He said that the Standing Orders empowers the Committee of Supply to amend and approve the estimates.
“The principal disagreement with the Hon. Chief Justice’s observations, is in the strong belief that it is for the National Assembly, and the National Assembly alone, to determine how it will handle any matter it is seised of. The National Assembly must be allowed to settle its own procedure in keeping with the constitutional mandate contained in Article 165, and the protection from interference guaranteed in Article 172 of the Constitution. The National Assembly has determined that a Committee of Supply shall be the means through which it analyses the Estimates of expenditure. This is in keeping with its right to formulate its own procedure in accordance with the provisions of Article 165 of the Constitution,” the Speaker said.