Members of parliament were at it on Monday afternoon when they forced Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe to defer a parliament vote of K9 billion so that it is increased to K12 billion.
The minister was forced to defer the vote after all the MPs who spoke, from the opposition bench, noted that the House was next year to meet for 14 weeks instead of 18 weeks.
The legislators noted that the K4 billion for plenary session, which houses their K50,000 per day allowance and also K1 billion for committee meetings and also budgets for the same K50,000 per day allowance, was too small to cater for their needs.
The members of parliament said they could not do their oversight role effectively and effectively if the allocation to the House was small.
They said it was unfair for committees to meet once after six months for others.
Gondwe, however, said the government does not have enough money for all committees to sit equally, saying it is up to the secretariat to prioritise. He said some committees like the Public Accounts Committee and Budget and Finance Committee should be well funded.
However the explanation by Gondwe did not convince the MPs who wanted more money for their budget forcing Finance Minister to defer the vote in order to consult the parliament secretariat.
Most votes passed without any probems including that of Office of the President and Cabinet with problems except for the vote of ministry of Local Government.
The MPs wanted to defer the vote because the minister Kondwani Nankhuimwa was not in the House as he was reportedly with President Peter Mutharika in Blantyre.
The Asset Declaration received K400 million.
The committee of supply proceeded smoothly despite threats by some MPs to frustrate it unless they got K3 million each in loans.
Gondwe explained to the eager parliamentarians that the government would improve on the payment of allowances for traditional leaders as they take three to four months before they receive their honorarium and the government would improve the allowances.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :