The absence of the Finance and Economic Development minister, David Carew, in parliament yesterday obstructed Members of Parliament from debating the budget.
Since the minister read the budget last December 21, MPs are starting their five allotted days to asses, evaluate and critique it.
The debate started smoothly with Hon Dr Moses Sesay of the APC contributing. Dr Sesay commended the budget that it was straight forward, pointing out that government should not allow revenue collection to go down the drain.
He emphasized that revenue collected should be used for the good of the nation.
Dr Moses Sesay was interrupted by Hon P.C Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka 111 on the pretext that the debate be discontinued because the Finance minister and other ministers were absent.
He mentioned the necessity for the presence of the ministers as the budget was a life line for the country.
The APC majority leader, Hon Edward Turay, said the Finance minister was out of the country.
But the deputy majority leader, Hon Sheku Badara Bashiru Dumbuya, affirmed the necessity that in such a nature all ministers and parastatal officials be present. He referred to it as a breach of tradition for Finance ministers to make themselves available during debates.
Hon P.C Kanagbaro stressed further that parliament should be taken seriously, and that it should be the responsibility of parliament to inform the various ministries when debates were on.
“For the dignity of parliament not to be compromised let us adjourn to tomorrow,” Hon S.B.B Dumbuya said.
It should have been the second reading by the Finance minister for the Appropriation Act, 2008 which is an act to authorize expenditure from the consolidated fund for the services of Sierra Leone for the year 2008.