GIS – 23 June 2020: The Supplementary Appropriation (2019-2020) Bill (No. IV of 2020) which makes provision for an additional financial allocation of thirty-three billion and seven hundred million rupees (Rs 33,700,000,000), with regards to Government expenditure for financial year 2019-2020, was introduced, today, at the National Assembly. The Bill was presented by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy.
This Bill aims at providing for the supplementary appropriation, by votes of expenditure, both recurrent and capital, in respect of services of Government for the financial year 2019-2020, in excess of the expenditure appropriated by the Appropriation (2019-2020) Act 2019.
According to the Minister, the supplementary appropriation is required in accordance with Section 105 (3)(a) of the Constitution as the voted amount under six Votes of Expenditure, in the current financial year, will be insufficient to cater for the following:
- Rs 25.2 billion for meeting expenses in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Rs 5.3 billion for payment of basic pensions following the increase in BRP rate from Rs 6,210 to Rs 9,000 with effect from 1st December 2019;
- Rs 2.0 billion as transfer to the National Environment Fund for implementation of various environment projects under the Fund; and Rs 1.2 billion in respect of some other urgent and unforeseen expenses such as NDU projects, Metro Express Ltd and SDRs transaction.
Furthermore, Dr Padayachy observed that Section 105 (3)(a) of the Constitution stipulates that, ‘where in any financial year, it is found that the amount appropriated by the appropriation law for the purposes included in any head of expenditure is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by the appropriation law, then a Supplementary Appropriation Bill needs to be introduced in the Assembly to provide for the appropriation of those sums’.
Therefore, the six Votes requiring supplementary appropriation in financial year 2019-2020 are listed in the Schedule to the Bill together with the respective sums. The supplementary appropriation is required as follows:
- Rs 280 million under Vote 2-2: National Development Unit for payments in respect of projects such as construction and upgrading of roads, sport facilities and children’s playgrounds;
- Rs 200 million under Vote 4-3: Rodrigues for payment of basic pensions to beneficiaries in Rodrigues following the increase in rates with effect from 1st December 2019;
- Rs 220 million under Vote: 7-2 Land Transport to provide a loan to Metro Express Ltd to enable the Company to meet its initial operating expenses;
- Rs 1.2 billion under Vote: 10-1 Ministry of Health and Wellness for the purchase of Medical Supplies in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Rs 5.1 billion under Vote 12-1: Social Security and National Solidarity essentially to cater for the increase in the monthly basic pensions rates to Rs 9,000 as from 1st December 2019;
- Rs 26.7 billion under Vote 25-1: Centrally Managed Initiatives of Government for the following:
(a) Rs 11.0 billion in respect of the Wage Assistance Scheme put in place to provide financial support to employees of the private sector who became technically unemployed during the COVID-19 lockdown/curfew period. The provision caters for the expected disbursement under the scheme up to June 2020;
(b) Rs 3.0 billion to provide financial support to the informal sector under the Self-Employed Assistance Scheme up to June 2020;
(c) Rs 45 million for basic food items distributed to families on the Social Register of Mauritius, those receiving Carers’ Allowance as well as residents of homes in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic;
(d) Rs 2.0 billion as transfer to the National Environment Fund for implementing various projects to better protect the environment and mitigate the risks associated with climate change. This amount will be used mainly to implement programmes such as Flood Management, Landslide Management, Rehabilitation of Beaches, and Solid Waste Management;
(e) Rs 10.0 billion as transfer to the National Resilience Fund for implementing schemes and programmes to ensure resilience in the wake of COVID-19. Out of this amount, Rs 9.0 billion has been earmarked as support to the National Air Carrier; and
(f) Rs 0.65 billion to account for the purchase of SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) by Government upon request made by the IMF in accordance with the Articles of Agreement.
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