The National Assembly on Tuesday, adopted the report on the budget and estimates for the financial year 2020/2021.

This follows proposal of the motion by the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Economic and Development Cluster, Mr. Samuel Rapapa.

He said as the committee, they recommend the government to consider its position between the construction of sports facilities for the Commonwealth Games and reallocation the funds to financing of COVID-19 interventions.

He however said it is important for the house to be aware that the option to cancel the construction of the sport facilities needs to be weighed carefully against penalties that may be attracted by that move, noting that if sports funds are to be directed to COVID-19 for ambulances, then deductions of meals from the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC) would be allocated to food parcels for destitute communities.

Mr. Rapapa said all the reductions proposed by the Committee be directed towards purchasing and/or improving the government fleet of ambulances to the required standard for ferrying Coronavirus patient.

He said all COVID-19 support shall be placed under the direct control of Disaster Management Authority (DMA), saying DMA should be established into an independent entity not a department for proper governance and accountability since it already operates with a board.

The Chairperson urged the government to change catering companies that supply meals to NECC on weekly basis with same amount and that such companies be sourced from all districts.

He added that the government should remove provision of lunch in cases where NECC personnel get allowances.

He also urged the government to pay special attention to water sector projects which he said seem to be consuming a significant amount of funds without fruitful results.

The motion was seconded by another member of the Economic and Development Cluster, Mrs. Ts’epang Ts’ita-Mosena hence the report was adopted.

Source: LENA 05/05/2020

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