By Simon Sabally
Supplementary Estimates should only be presented to the National Assembly when:
a. the amount appropriated under the Appropriation Act is insufficient (s. 153(1)), or
b. a need has arisen for which no amount was appropriated for in Appropriation Act (s.153(1)), or
c. the president made any advance from the Contingencies Fund and such amount so advanced needed to be refunded.
d. substantial changes in the economic and social conditions which require larger expenditures than THE ORIGINAL AND REVISED BUDGETs allowed (s. 30 (2) of the Public Finance Act).
The above are the four circumstances in which the Minister of Finance could lay the Supplementary Estimates before the National Assembly for Approval. In the case of (a), if the D500 million was taken from the appropriation items of the budget agencies, then the appropriated budget cannot be said to be insufficient. The grants, ban on official travels and meetings and other government and philanthropists’ services must have left huge sums which can be appropriated in a Revised Budget for the approval of the National Assembly.
Clearly, the budget must be revised first before a supplementary Estimates are laid before the National Assembly.