National Assembly passes 18 bills in 2021

Mamos Media

By Adama Tine

As the year 2021 just ended, it is important to remind readers that several bills were passed before the National Assembly in 2021. These bills all went under scrutiny processes, though some were resubmitted to the committee of the whole house for consideration and approval.

In summary, the bills passed in 2021 include the Estimate Budget of 2022 Revenues and Recurrent and Development Expenditure which was tabled by   Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs.

During the laying of the bill, Minister Njie informed the house that the 2022 budget being presented to the august assembly symbolised their collective commitment on ongoing reforms and it aimed at not only greater fiscal discipline and transparency.

He cited section 152 (1) of the 1997 constitution which states that the President is required to instruct the Minister of Finance to prepare and submit it to Members of Parliament at least 30 days before the end of the financial year.

“The government reaffirms its commitment to innovative development financing which will be additionally joined at the hip with investment in both the social and economic sectors,” he added.

He explained that the total revenue and grants in 2022 is projected to reach D29.87 billion, which represents a growth of 16% compared to the 2021 figure of D25.76 billion.

On Thursday, 18 November, the Market and Securities Bill 2021 with amendments was tabled at the legislative house during the second ordinary session in the 2021 legislative year.

The Minister of Finance who was tabling the bill for scrutiny said that regulating documents for the Capital and Securities Market is dynamic transparent, fair and well placed and will contribute to the nation’s development.

More so, the financial implication from approving this bill will estimate from establishing the Capital Market and Scrutinize Commission and the Capital Market Tribunal. According to him, the overriding consideration in the establishment of the above is to create a balance between the needs for regulation of the market on one hand, accountability grievance redress mechanism on the other.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly has passed the Person’s with Disabilities Bill 2021 on the 6th July to plenary and the President assented to the bill on 4th August. It is the first piece of legislation that provides for the fundamental human rights and freedom of persons with disabilities in The Gambia.

Reacting to the advent of this long-awaited piece of legislation, Muhammad Krubally, chairperson of the Gambia Federation for the Disabled (GFD) said the bill is one of the most important bills to them.

It was stated that the law will not only recognize their rights but also enable them to hold government accountable where it fails to protect these rights.  

It could be recalled that on the 8th November 2021, Minister of Health Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh tabled the Health Insurance Bill scheme. The bill if available will reduce expenditure on families and communities.

The Nationality and Citizenship Amendment Bill was also tabled in parliament as well as the long awaited Access to Information Bill after two years of debate.  

The bill gives Gambians the legal right to seek information from public officials and through the courts.

The bill allows citizens, journalists, students and civil society organizations to be able to access government data to promote transparency and good governance.

Other relevant bills such as the Women’s Amendments, Matrimonial Causes Amendments Bill, Civil Marriages, Domestic Violence Bill, Petroleum Commission Bill, Supplementary 2021, and the Births, Deaths and Marriages Amendments Bill 2021 were all passed through the National Assembly.

AT/COB/DAJ/06/01/22

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