4.06.2015

Senate: Emergency Plan Funding Under Scrutiny

By George MBELLA, Cameroon Tribune
senat-seanceThe Committee on Finance and Budget ended its two-day substantive study of two bills to amend 2014 and 2015 Finance Laws.
The funding mechanism of the FCFA 925 billion Three-Year Growth Acceleration Emergency Plan set up by the Head of State, Paul Biya, on December 9, 2014 has come under scrutiny at the Senate as members of the Committee on Finance and Budget pondered on two bills to amend 2014 and 2015
Finance Laws, respectively, on 1 and 2 April, 2015. Both bills were defended in-camera by the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousman Mey.
The first bill was to authorise the President of the Republic to ratify Ordinance No 2014/2 of December 10 2014 to amend and supplement certain provisions of Law No. 2013/17 of December 16, 2013 which was the Finance Law of the Republic of Cameroon for the 2014 Fiscal Year. Under this ordinance, the amount of non-concessional loans that the government was authorised to conclude during the 2014 fiscal year was raised from FCFA 250 billion to FCFA 600. The concessional loans, for their part, remained unchanged at FCFA 500 billion.
The Committee’s members under their Chairman, Senator Elie-Victor Essomba Tsoungui, learnt from the Minister of Finance that the Ordinance was issued to enable the government mobilize resources from donors to implement the three-year growth-acceleration Emergency Plan which has an overall budget of FCFA 925 billion and targets seven sectors comprising urban, health, agriculture and livestock, roads, energy and security of major cities.
A second bill to that effect, equally scrutinised by Senators, was the bill to authorize the President of the Republic to ratify Ordinance No 2015/1 of February 6 2015 to amend and supplement certain provisions of Law No 2014/26 of December 23, 2013 which is the Finance Law of the Republic of Cameroon for the 2015 Financial Year. By virtue of the ordinance, the maximum amount of public securities, in particular treasury bonds, that the government is authorized to issue in order to finance development projects is increased from FCFA 320 billion to FCFA 900 billion.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Senator Doh Ganyonga III also studied the bill to authorise the President of the Republic to ratify the Protocol on the Preferential Tariff Scheme (PRETAS) for establishment of the Trade Preferential System among member countries of the Islamic Conference (TPS-OIC), adopted in Istanbul, Turkey, during the 21st session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMEC). The second was to authorise the President of the Republic to ratify the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters in 1988, as amended by the Protocol of 27 May, 2010.
Later on Thursday, April 2, 2015, the Chairmen’s Conference held to decide of the admissibility of three more bills shuttled from the National Assembly after the latter’s adoption. The first bill governs audiovisual activities in Cameroon and the second bill which amends and supplements some provisions of the December 21, 2010 Law to regulate electronic communications in Cameroon, are both aimed at providing the national legal framework for the coming of digital technology.

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