The 2023-2024 Budget will be presented to the National Assembly this Friday by Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy. The main measures to be announced will already have been approved at the highest level of Government House. However, they will remain secret until this Friday’s Special Council of Ministers.
As for the National Assembly secretariat, the schedule for budget debates has already been set, with an average of 12 speakers per session starting next Monday. Following the measures taken by Prime Minister (PM) Pravind Jugnauth in consultation with the President’s Office, the second reading debates should be concluded by Tuesday June 13 at the latest, the same day as the Committee of Supply of Budget Estimates.
The Budget for 2023/2024 will therefore have to be voted by Parliament on June 16. Thanks to the early scheduling of the Budget speech, MMM leader Paul Bérenger will speak in the Chamber next Friday, after being suspended since the end of last year. Arianne Navarre Marie, punished with five sittings since last Tuesday, could be proposed for the final of the budget debates at the end of next week.
Opposition leader Xavier-Luc Duval will respond to the Minister of Finance on Monday morning. Unlike other MPs, whether ministers or backbenchers, he will not be subject to the guillotine of the National Assembly presidency. The same will apply to the PM, whose speech is most likely scheduled for Tuesday June 13, just before the Grand Argentier’s assessment. Pravind Jugnauth will be preceded by the Deputy PM and Minister of Tourism and Housing, Steven Obeegadoo, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alan Ganoo, as was the case last year for the last Opposition speaker.
Following consultations between Chief Government Whip Naveena Ramyad and Opposition Whip Patrice Armance, it was decided that each Minister would have 45 minutes to assess and comment on the measures announced in the Budget. Majority MPs will have 30 to 37 minutes per intervention, while Opposition MPs will have an average of 40 minutes per speaker. We can therefore expect around ten speakers for each Night Session from Monday June 5, including four from the Opposition, and the last one on Monday June 12. From June 13 to 16, there will be a parade of senior civil servants in the meeting room for a committee examination of the budget allocations.
The Order Paper for the June 2 meeting is already known. It will be devoted to The Appropriation (2023-2024) Bill, presented at first and second reading. It will be presented at 5pm by Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy. Prior to this, the PM will present a motion that “That all the business on today’s Order Paper be exempted from the provisions of paragraph (2) of Standing Order 10”.