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Financial Act 2021….

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By Sulaiman Alim Bangura

As the amendment of the Finance Act of 2021 goes before parliament, members of parliament of the All Peoples Congress stood tall in bringing forward issues that can benefit the citizens of Sierra Leone. The Finance Act of Sierra Leone has been an act created to provide for the imposition and alterations of taxes. It also gives effect to the financial proposal of Government and to provide for other related matter that deals with finance for every year. On Monday 16th November, 2021, the Finance Act of 2021 was brought in front of parliament in order to make necessary amendment by parliamentarians for the year 2022 for the betterment of its citizenry. The APC MPs were in full gears as always in order to ensure that necessary things are effected in the amendment of the Act, in the interest of the welfare of every Sierra Leonean. Leader of the main opposition party – Honorable Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah pinpointed that, since 2006, the Finance Bill has been the most important bills brought to parliament year in – year out.

In his contribution towards the debate of the amendment on the finance Act of 2022, as highlighted, he stated that the creation of a special account or fund outside of the National Disaster Agency is questionable, saying the agency cannot have any control over itself. He highlighted that, the Wellington fire disaster caught ‘‘us all pant down’’.

Hon. Bah noted the disaster is a lesson learnt for the House of Parliament to press for more funding for the National Disaster Management Authority as the Finance Bill is being put forward once again for amendment. He added that, the Finance Bill is in front of parliament and that members of parliament should more focus on the area of revenue generation. He states that, as a representative of the people, he called on the minister, through his office, to cut down the taxes of housing commodities, like cement, as it has been greatly affecting the poor people.

“The fact that the Finance Bill is a special Bill that covers the livelihood of all and sundry, members of parliament should not look into it abruptly. I do not want to part of the creation of any laws that tend to have a side effect on the people,’’ the seasoned MP added. Honourable Abdul Karbgo of Constituency 079 is known for his dedication   to speak out on burning issues that is of public centric.

He reiterated on the reduction of customs and taxes on imported commodities, as it has been one of the key factors for the uncontrollable increment of prices in the market. He pinpointed that, another opportunity has been given once again to members of the House to set the record straight, as the Finance Bill is in front of them. Honorable Abdul Karim Kamara (AKK) of 059 stated that, the laws passed by parliament sometimes is among the many reasons the judiciary system of late has nothing good to write home about. He advised members of parliament to be mindful in dealing with certain bills, saying whenever a drafted bill is presented to the house, members should ensure that they looked at it well and debated it, in tandem with other laid down laws or acts, in order to prevent any conflict of laws. As he puts it in his words that ” The integrity of the house of parliament, wholeheartedly depends on what Parliamentarians do and say” Summarizing, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Parliament, Hon. Chernor Maju Bah craved on the indulgence of the minister and the House of Parliament, in its entirety, to look into all the issues pointed out by members in House in a bid to ensure the furtherance of all Sierra Leoneans.

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