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Postby yueyrt1Wzb » 07 Sep 2017, 21:47 •  [Post 1]

… Speaker to appeal  By  Zena HenryChief Justice (ag) Ian Chang yesterday put to rest matters relating to the Parliamentary Opposition’s ability to cut the National budget when he ruled that the opposing side of the National Assembly, under the Constitution, does not have the power to cut the government’s budget.In a case, the first of its kind in this country, the Chief Justice affirmed that the National Assembly has no powerLawyer for the government: Attorney General Anil Nandlallto cut the budget estimates made by the government’s Finance Minister.  He said that for the Opposition to cut the budget,NFL Jerseys From China, it is a “final act” that leaves no space for amending the budget estimates. He explained that there is therefore nothing left for the government’s Finance Minister to amend. Chang said that the Constitution provides for the Finance Minister to present the budget since the finance of the country is the responsibility of the Executive; and for the Opposition to cut the budget and then approve it; then the estimates are no longer that of the Finance Minister, but that of the Assembly.Chief Justice Chang said that the Standing Orders of Parliament, which has been used to justify the budget cuts, is not law,Cheap Wholesale Jerseys, but merely procedures of the House, that cannot override the Constitution.Article 171 (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution, -which was pointed out as giving the Opposition the power to cut the budget- “has nothing to do with the reduction of the Minister’s estimates.” “The words in Article 171 (2) (a) (11) (“otherwise than by reducing it”) have nothing at all to do with the reduction of the Minister’s estimates, but rather with the reduction of a charge which has already been imposed upon the Consolidated Fund by an Appropriation Act or by the Constitution or Act.”Chief Justice Chang continued that “if the Assembly were permitted to cut the Minister’s estimates, the estimates, when cut, would necessarily become the estimates as fixed and determined by the Assembly and would cease being the Minister’s estimates.”“If the Assembly has the power to cut the estimates in relation to one line item, then, as a matter of principle, it would have the power to cut each and every line item. Assuming that the estimates in relation to each and every line item were to be cut to $1, it can hardly be said that the estimates as cut remain the estimates of the Minister.”In relation to the Parliament’s Standing Orders which were said to confirm the cutting of the budget, the Chief Justice said,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, “Indeed, since the interpretation of the Sanding Orders is the responsibility of the Speaker,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, Section 9 mandates him to construe them as to achieve conformity with the Constitution. It is not the function of the court to interpret Standing Orders.“However, it is the function of the court to act as guardian of the Constitution and to ensure that whatever the contents of Standing Orders, their application does not involve a contravention of any provision of the Constitution or law of the land.”Lawyer for House Speaker; Khemraj RamjattanChang noted however, that the fact that the Constitution has provided for the approval (and by necessary implication, non-approval) of the Minister’s estimates of expenditure by the Assembly under Article 218, conduces to the irresistible conclusion that approval cannot be interpreted to mean “to amend”, “for it would be nonsensical for the Constitution to require the Assembly approve that which it has itself amended. The power to amend involves the power to approve, but a power to approve does not imply a power to amend.”Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, said yesterday that the government was vindicated in their charge that the Opposition cannot cut the Finance Minister’s budget estimates. He told media operatives that he is happy with the outcome since the government resolutely maintained over the last two years the clear language of the Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers; prevent the opposition from cutting the budget.He charged that the opposition could withhold its approval of the budget; “a power we (government) has never denied.” “They have the power of approval or disapproval, but they cannot cut the estimates which the Finance Minister presents, substitute a dollar or otherwise and pass that estimate, because they will be passing an estimate not prepared and presented by the Finance Minister.”Attorney for the Speaker of the National Assembly Khemraj Ramjattan has expressed his intent to appeal Chang’s ruling within a matter of days. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman remained the lone defendant in the budget cut case since he was accused of opening the door for the 2012 budget to be cut.Ramjattan said the Speaker is the authority of the House and would have allowed the cutting of the budget based on the vote of the majority of the House; which happens to be the opposition, representing the majority of citizens in the country. It is therefore their belief that while the CJ is claiming that the Standing Orders are not laws of Guyana,Cheap Stitched Jerseys, it is the rules of Parliament.Ramjattan believes that Chang may have erred in his ruling because the National Assembly, especially the Committee of Supply, has the power in any Westminster type democracy to amend budgetary allocations and estimates.“That’s why in the Committee of Supply we do what we do, which is, the line item has to be approved and voted on. What we are merely doing,Authentic Jerseys Cheap, if we were to take it to its logical conclusion; we would simply be a rubber stamp of the Executive and so there is no check and balance in relation to budgetary allocations.”
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