Parliament Council approves 2007 budget [Archives:2006/963/Front Page]

July 13 2006

By: Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, July 12 ) With a 30 percent increase over last year, Parliament Council approved its annual budget for 2007, totaling YR 3.94 billion.

According to the report, the budget is allocated as follows:

– Current expenses, including salaries, wages, etc., at YR 1.6 billion.

– Services and commodities spending at YR 451.74 million.

– Maintenance expenses totaling YR 250.96 million.

– Current donations and transfers at YR 879.98 million.

– Investment and capital expenditures totaling YR 832.25 million.

Some parliament members requested a financial roll for spending budget allocations. Other MPs said, “There should be a financial panel to define spending aspects. Aid is spent randomly and transferred from one line item into another.”

Some criticism was directed to the small allowances allocated for experts and advisors, upon whom parliamentary committees depend. MPs further criticized allocating YR 54 million for festivals and receptions at YR 5 million per month, while YR 7 million was allocated for experts who help MPs perform their controlling and legislative roles.

Some MPs requested residence payment for all employees and not just for some. Additionally, they requested raising medication payments for Parliament's guards, from YR 7,000, which was paid annually, and changing the contract-based employment to permanent-contract one.

Other MPs called for qualifying Parliament's Presidency Board as well as MPs to make them more competent and the council's performance more effective.

Sultan Al-Atwani, head of the Nasserite party bloc, demanded offices for MPs to perform their work, as is the case with parliaments worldwide. He also criticized those who consider council's budget large, noting that it's half that of the President's Office or the Cabinet. He also called for adopting the comments raised by the financial committee regarding the council's institutional restructure to be finically independent body.

The financial committee noticed that the council's 2007 budget overlooked plans set by the council's general administration and offices. The council did not ask the administrations to submit their plans and the committee responsible for preparing the budget estimated the council's requirements.

Additionally, the financial committee criticized the absence of a clear vision regarding training and qualifying MP employees and staff, as evidenced by the humble sums allocated for training in the 2007 budget, amounting to YR 110,000 for local training and YR 7 million for external training. The committee perceived a setback in this respect, as the budget allocated to this end didn't exceed the budget of previous years and the aim of conducting such training wasn't achieved.

Furthermore, the committee pointed out many deficiencies as to job inflation, interplay of specializations and job scarcity involving highly specialized and skilled individuals needed by the council and its specialized committees. In return, numerous service jobs exist and few high qualified employee. In addition, many employees don't have specific jobs or aren't distributed to all of the council's apparatuses.

Attributing most of these deficiencies to absence of the council's organizational bylaw, the financial committee requested correcting existing administrative and job situations to ensure optimal benefit for current employees and restructuring all council apparatuses.

Finally, the committee demanded Parliament's Presidency Board and the General Secretariat quickly submit a financial roll to the financial affairs committee, according to the council's internal bylaw. It also called for giving priority to high and specialized training in all aspects. Furthermore, it requested an information systems web, providing books, references and journals for the council's library and allocating sums for studies and research to serve the council's needs.