2019 State Budget: Ministers Defend Draft Projections At Senate

Members of government have begun defending their respective draft budgets for the 2019 fiscal year before the Finance and Budget Committee of the Senate headed by Senator Victor Elie Essomba Tsoungi, in the presence of Minister Jules Doret Ndongo, who is representing the Vice prime Minister, Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with Parliament. The Ministers are presenting their priority projects for 2019 should the budget be adopted at the Senate. It should be noted that the 2019 Finance Bill has already been adopted at the National Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for scrutiny. The Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso was one of the first Ministers to defend his FCFA 66.316 billion proposed budget before the Committee. Going by his explanatory notes, consolidating the rule of law, harmonising and modernising legislation, improving access to justice, promotion of human rights, fight against prison overcrowding and corruption are principle areas for 2019. Joseph Beti Assomo, Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defense, while defending his budgetary proposals of FCFA 247.447 billion said his focal points are improving national security, equipping and upgrading military hospitals, advancing the Military Engineering Corps and ensuring the recruitment and training of military personnel to fill up for those going on retirement or dying from operations. For the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey, his financial projection of FCFA 52.791 billion will be used to foster development through the completion and realisation of projects in the country. With regards to decentralisation, Minister Georges Elanga Obam, who defended his bud get as well as for the Ministry of Territorial Administration said enough resources will be allocated to local councils for the implementation of projects aimed at increasing the living conditions of citizens. For territorial administration, the FCFA 27.327 billion, should it be validated will be dedicated to civil protection, management of refugees and inter nally displaced persons, improve safety of the population against risks and disasters, and maintaining a permanent liaison with the independent organ responsible for the organisation of elections. Sustaining bilateral and multilateral cooperation, advancing diplomacy and providing ample participation for the diaspora in addition to pro moting governance are some of the cardinal points of focus the Ministry of External Relations will dwell on in its FCFA 37.681 proposed budget as defended by the Minister Delegate in Charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth, Felix Mbayu. Other Ministers continue defending their proposals before the Committee.

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