GOVERNMENT will soon have powers to borrow money from international institutions without Parliament approval if proposed amendments are passed.
Legal watchdog Veritas said it is not wise for the government to amend the section.
To amend section 327 so as to remove or reduce Parliament’s powers will be utterly pernicious and will encourage a return to reckless spending by the government, mortgaging the birthright of future generations.
“Parliament’s role in monitoring and overseeing expenditure by the State, enshrined in section 299 of the Constitution, is fundamental to good governance, one of the founding values on which the Constitution is based. A vital part of that role is the power under section 327(3) of the Constitution to veto loan agreements which Parliament considers will impose too great a burden on the country. Clause 23 of the Bill will emasculate this power.”
Veritas said loans must be approved by Parliament so that government stops unnecessary borrowing. This comes after opposition legislators last year grilled Finance minister Mthuli Ncube for borrowing USD$1,25 billion from the African-Export Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) without following laid down procedures.
Ncube admitted that government breached the law by taking loan facilities without approval of Parliament.