In the National Assembly ‒ budget debates Five budget heads approved on first day |25 November 2021
The National Assembly yesterday kicked off its cross examinations of the 2021 budget, questioning and subsequently approving the budgets for the Office of the President, department of legal affairs and registration division, Office of the Curator, department of defence, and department of information communication technology (DICT).
The first budget to be considered by the House yesterday was that for the Office of the President which has been provided a sum of R71 million to work with compared to R65.2 million in 2020. It received 20 votes in its favour from Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) representatives and none from United Seychelles.
Nonetheless, Vice President Ahmed Afif noted that the Office of the President and Vice President is expected to end the year having used only R60 million, which represents a reduction of R5 million.
The majority budget for the Office of the President and Vice President will go towards governance management and administration at R45.5 million followed by the executive office which will receive R17.3 million and cabinet office R5.5 million.
This year the Office of the Former President will get R2.6 million compared to R5 million.
VP Afif explained that the increase of R11 million ‒ from R60 million in 2021 to R71 million in 2022 ‒ is attributed to a reduction of R4.6 million in wages and salaries, partly due to the removal of three posts of principal secretaries under the Office of the President, four postings for special advisors or advisors as well as posting for one secretary of state. Other staff that used to work under the Office of the President have also migrated to other ministries which also lends to the reduction.
Meanwhile, the increase is due to the hike in transport and travel budget line which has gone up by R4.7 million, maintenance and repairs which has gone up by R2.3 million and minor capital which has gone up by R4.6 million.
Even with the increase, VP Afif noted that this sum is still less than previous budgets for the Office of the President, under previous administrations.
The National Assembly also approved the R355.9 million budget for the department of defence, R6 million for the Office of the Curator, R133.9 million for department of legal affairs and registration division and R62 million for the DICT.