BNP pe­ti­tions PM to open par­lia­ment

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

the Ba­sotho na­tional Party (BNP) youth league has pe­ti­tioned Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili to speed­ily open par­lia­ment to fa­cil­i­tate the pass­ing of the na­tional bud­get.

In a let­ter de­liv­ered to the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice on Tues­day, BNP Youth league Chair­man tšeliso Le­senya said the coali­tion gov­ern- ment of seven po­lit­i­cal par­ties led by Dr Mo­sisili should pri­ori­tise the open­ing of par­lia­ment to pass the na­tional bud­get and en­sure gov­ern­ment pro­grammes and the de­liv­ery of public ser­vices re­sume.

the pe­ti­tion was also ad­dressed to the Speaker of the na­tional as­sem­bly ntl­hoi Mot­samai, and copied to BNP leader th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane, for­mer Prime Min­is­ter thomas tha­bane, the au­di­tor- gen­eral, ac­coun­tant-gen­eral and the South­ern african Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity ob­server Mission.

“We, the youth league of the Ba­sotho na­tional Party (BNP), have ob­served with great con­cern that the fi­nan­cial year of his Majesty’s gov­ern­ment be­gins on the 1st of april 2015,” read the pe­ti­tion, which also called for the speedy ap­point­ment of gov­ern­ment min­is­ters.

“This is the fi­nan­cial year of 2015/2016. We are also aware that the bud­get for the said fi­nan­cial year has not been passed and dis­cussed in the au­gust house of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of this King­dom.”

ac­cord­ing to Mr Le­senya, the bud­get is in­stru­men­tal in ser­vice de­liv­ery to the na­tion and en­ables the pay­ment of civil ser­vants’ salaries.

“We are also cog­nisant of the fact that as yet there is no Min­is­ter of Fi­nance to de­lib­er­ate on the bud­get.

We urge you to de­lib­er­ate on the open­ing of par­lia­ment for the bud­get of this na­tion to be tabled and dis­cussed in par­lia­ment be­fore the be­gin­ning of the fi­nan­cial year,” the pe­ti­tion added.con­tacted for com­ment, Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary Moahloli Mphaka said it was now clear that by 1 april, 2015 there would not be a par­lia­ment-ap­proved bud­get, hence the need for gov­ern­ment to use a third of the na­tional bud­get, in line with the pre­ced­ing fi­nan­cial year’s al­lo­ca­tions, for a pe­riod not ex­ceed­ing four months ac­cord­ing to the con­sti­tu­tion.

Sec­tion 113 of the con­sti­tu­ti­ton states that: “Par­lia­ment may make pro­vi­sion un­der which, if it ap­pears to the Min­is­ter for the time be­ing re­spon­si­ble for fi­nance that the ap­pro­pri­a­tion act for any fi­nan­cial year will not come into op­er­a­tion by the be­gin­ning of that fi­nan­cial year, he may au­tho­rise the with­drawal from the Con­sol­i­dated Fund of mon­eys for the pur­pose of meet­ing ex­pen­di­ture nec- es­sary to carry on the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho in re­spect of the pe­riod com­menc­ing with the be­gin­ning of that fi­nan­cial year and ex­pir­ing four months there­after or on the com­ing into op­er­a­tion of the act, whichever is the ear­lier.”

“. . . money so au­tho­rised to be with­drawn in ad­vance of the ap­pro­pri­a­tion Act for any fi­nan­cial year shall not ex­ceed in to­tal onethird of the sums in­cluded in the es­ti­mates of ex­pen­di­ture for the pro­ceed­ing fi­nan­cial year that have been laid be­fore the as­sem­bly.

“and that no sums shall be so au­tho­rised to be with­drawn to meet ex­pen­di­ture on any head of ex­pen­di­ture in that fi­nan­cial year if no sums had been voted to meet ex­pen­di­ture on that head of ex­pen­di­ture in re­spect of the pre­ced­ing fi­nan­cial year”.

Mr Mphaka said the fail­ure to present the bud­get be­fore par­lia­ment was not a cri­sis sit­u­a­tion since it did not de­lay any gov­ern­ment busi­ness.

“I be­lieve by Fri­day we would have min­is­ters in­au­gu­rated and the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance would then as­sume his role of fa­cil­i­tat­ing the process al­low­ing the utilisation of one third of the past fi­nan­cial year’s bud­get,” he said.

BNP Youth league Chair­man Tšeliso Le­senya

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