The National Assembly Member for Busumbala Constituency, Honourable Saikouba Jarju, has tasked the Government of The Gambia to conduct a research on the economic activities of the country.
Speaking at the National Assembly Debate on the 2021 Draft Budget on Wednesday, Honourable Jarju called for the formation of Economic Research Unit to advise the Government on the economic activities of the country. He enquired the programme priorities of the Government whether they are responsive to the National Development Plan.
“Can’t we do a holistic research and come with tangible programmes that will empower the Gambia to be economic sovereign,” said Honourable Saikouba Jarju.
“My problem is not about the deficit but my worry is the programmes that the government wants to implement come 2021. How they are responsive to the need of the people now,” he stated.
The honourable member for Busumbala went further to ask why it is difficult for the government to invest in the productive base of the economy to generate income and save the country from borrowing outside. He explained the importance of the Draft Budget presented by the Finance Minister, before the National Assembly.
“This 2021 Budget is very important to us, it is the last or second to last budget of our 5 year term. And it is the year that the NDP is ending, so we should be asking ourselves what is the level of the programme implementation of the NDP and what is the responsiveness of this budget to those plans,” he asserted.
Honourable Jarju also called on the Ministry of Agriculture to put its house in order, saying it is a shame to talk about the current situation of the ministry. He advised them to come with good programmes to National Assembly.
“In as much as you want to empower Agriculture, the Ministry itself has to be ready,” he said.
Honourable Jarju also expressed concern about the greater part of the Budget to be spend on recurrence and personnel management with minimal expenditure on development priorities.