The Mozambican parliament has approved its own budget to the tune of $38.4 million for its activities in 2015 before discussing the long overdue general annual state budget for the same year, APA learnt on Thursday.According to private TV station, Stv, the parliament also awarded itself a massive 35.5 percent increase as compared to its budget allocation in 2014.
The budget and plan of activities passed with the 134 deputies of the majority Frelimo Party voting in favour, while both opposition parties, the main opposition Renamo party and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) abstained for different reasons.
According to Stv, the largest component in the assembly budget is the wages and allowances for the 250 deputies, but these are not clearly listed.
The figure for deputies’ wages is about $3,223 dollars per deputy per month which is a 21.75 percent increase on the figure in the 2014 budget.
In addition, on top of this there is an â€œinstallation allowance of $2, 700, an entertainment allowance, allowances for fuel, phone, rent, water and electricity bills, attendance fees, and an allowance for constituency work.
Equipment and maintenance of the assembly premises and protocol residences will cost 40 million meticais.
10.8 million meticais will be spent on computers, and a further 10 million on the next phase of building the parliamentary citadel a complex to be constructed in the urban district of Catembe, on the other side of Maputo Bay from the centre of the city, which will eventually house the assembly and include residential quarters for the deputies.
However, Renamo complained that there was not enough detail in the plan and budget, and alleged a lack of transparency in the construction of the parliamentary citadel and it protested at the lack of transport for the assembly staff saying its administrative council had refused to say how many protocol houses the assembly owns and claimed that the budget for the residence of the assembly chairperson was exaggerated.
The MDM had much more sweeping objections.
It claimed that the plan and budget would not allow the assembly to supervise the government properly, and did not grant the assembly â€œfinancial and administrative autonomy.
SOURCE: Star Africa, April 24th 2015: http://en.starafrica.com/news/moz-parliament-approves-own-budget.html