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Senate Will Pass 2016 Budget Before March 31 – Ndume Assures

FREEPRESS – The Senate leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume has assured that the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly will strive to ensure the passage of the 2016 Budget before the end of March since that will mark when the 2015 budget can no longer be implemented.

The lawmaker, while speaking with newsmen on Sunday, stressed that contrary to reports in the media, the Senate did not indefinitely suspend passage of the budget, but only said that the 25th of February date may not be feasible.

He revealed that it was the wish of the National Assembly to pass the budget five weeks before the expiry of the period set for the implementation of the 2015 budget, but that was not possible due to some errors.

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According to him, “We have not postponed it indefinitely; we are saying that with the developments that we are seeing as the time goes on, the 25th February deadline we gave ourselves may not be realistic.

“That is why we now said that going by this, it is not possible to say we will come back on 25th and say this is the budget; we are not saying that we have suspended it indefinitely.

“The reason we fixed 25th was because we wanted to have a gap of five weeks,” he said.

Ndume said the gap would have enabled the Senate fix whatever issues that needed to be handled before the lapsing of the March 31 deadline for the implementation of the 2015 budget.

He said the leadership of the National Assembly had met with Ministers to iron out the grey areas in the budget and make corrections to the contentious areas as well.

The Senate leader, who assured that the upper chamber would ensure strict compliance with the implementation of the budget, expressed optimism that the present administration would ensure thorough implementation of the budget that once funds were available.

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