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MP Promises to engage Constituents on negative Impact of 2018 Finance Bill

MP Promises to engage Constituents on negative Impact of 2018 Finance Bill

Member of Parliament representing Constituency 115 Western Urban Area Hon. Alpha Amadu Bah (in photo)  has promised to constructively engage his Constituents towards the negative impacts on the passage of the Finance Act of 2018 will caused after. Hon. Alpha Amadu Bah made the promised in an exclusive interview with Sierra Express Media on Friday 13th July 2018, at Parliament after several attempt made to contribute to the debate without catching the eyesof the Speaker. He added that; the planning meeting is to engage his people for the way forward particularly when the bill has nothing show as promote and protect the local content policy towards national development. He went on to say the Supplementary Amendment Act which is the Finance Act of 2018, which was greatly deducted from the Excite duty in reducing tax rate imported commodities like beverage, Flour, among other things that also has a corresponding increase in Excite duty and taxes in the locally produce beverage. Hon. Bah further noted that the Act is depreciating the local manufacturing produce rather than seek to promote on due advantage particularly with imported commodities. As the bill is exclusively seeking revenue generation, he noted that; at the expense of generating revenue should also focus on alternative clauses for opportunity cost to prevent job employment as a result of high cost of importation increment that will tends to cut down the level of man power. He maintained that; the Act will not only affect Sierra Leone Brewery Limited, but other non-meaningful Sierra Leoneans items of investment. He reiterated that; since much premium has much given on beverages will also damage the excessive intake of alcohol on youths to abuse alcohol as a result of chipper excitement adding that; the bill gives more priority on beverage rather than the country’s staple food which according to him he said the “the bill is counterproductive” he stated. He added that; the bill is also fragile economy through the high dependent rate of importation as well as not good for purpose with the optimism that; in 2019, the bill is expected to seek promote our local produce industries he concluded.

In his presentation, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Jocob Jusu Saffa noted that; the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2018, which is to provide for the policies and programmes contained in the “New Direction” and for the services of Sierra Leone. The Minister noted that; the sum of 3.7 Trillion to President Bio spanning July to December 2018, to be charged and made payable from the Consolidated Fund with immediate effect he said.The Minister among other things added that; the Act is aimed at redirecting and repositioning Government’s prioritized policies and programmes as contained in the “New Direction” with a view to improving revenue generation and prudent fiscal management in the country, initiating the process of procuring 50 school busses to be controlled by the Freetown City Council (FCC), subsiding university application forms, providing free education starting from the next academic year in September 2018, for which not less than 21% of budgetary allocation is been appropriated  including reducing tariffs on beer and wheat flour, increasing in royalty on timber exports from USD 1,500 to 2. 500 for Twenty Feet container, and strengthening Parliamentary Oversight ensuring it from dependence on incentive by Ministries, Department and Agency (MDAs).

In their contributions, Chairman on Finance Hon. Francis Amara Kai Samba of Constituency 020 Kenema district described the Appropriation Act is unique without any controversy. He added that the Appropriation Act is a nationalized project to support educational sector and that it has been made abundantly clear by the minister the Appropriation Act seeks to promote and generate revenue as a way of fulfillment by the President during the State Opening of Parliament including monies that has been on loan, the extractive companies among other things. Hon.  Francis Amara Kai Samba called his colleagues to help support the President success as Members of Parliament (MPs), adding that; until this authorities are been done then the President will not achieve the realization of this realities he appeal.

Hon. Lahai Marrah Hon. Lahai Marrah of Constituency 042 Falaba district caution the three trillion that to be given to the executive as projection as explicit but remaindered with great concerned about the as Members of Parliament welfare are not properly cared off as according to him they are not capacitated as to compared to other democratic governance. He added that as Sierra Leone Parliament as less considered to be the poorest Parliament in the sub-region and West Africa in general. He disclosed the 2015 to 2016 Liberian annual budget as compared to Sierra Leone is nothing to write home about. He compared   the annual salary of Liberia Speaker which is Sixty Five Thousand Dollars ($ 65 000,000) as well as Deputy the sum of Sixty Four thousand Dollars ($ 64,000,000) compared to Sierra Leone Speaker and Deputy of Parliament per year he stated.

Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara commonly called AKK of Constituency 059 Kambia district commended the President for the twenty one percent increments on educational sector as a step in the right direction for which as opposition Members of Parliament will continue provide support as in good faith.  He expressed his disappointment over the reduction tax reduction on imported beer and revenue on food subsidy adding that; if only the President to successes to their responsibility as MPs to support the initiative, While Speaker of Parliament intimated that; the twenty one percent promised by President Bio in the document has been fulfilled he lamented, as several MPs were also made their impacts to create more significant impact including Hon. Hindolo Moiwo Geavao of Constituency 003 Kailahun district, The Leader of the Coalition for Change (C4C) Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina of Constituency 030 Kono district, Hon. Dr. Roland Kargbo of Constituency 064 Karene district amongst several others.

By: Mohamed Y. Turay

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