19 February 2013 1:48 pm | | 2


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Deputy Finance Minister Slim Besbes

A bill to establish legislative auditing of public debt has been tabled by the National Constituent Assembly, Deputy Finance Minister Slim Besbes said in an interview Monday with Radio Express FM.

Besbes argued that such auditing is not pressing since the Ministry of Finance already monitors and issues reports on the government’s debt.

“It’s an exceptional period because we can’t study everything in a very detailed way,” said Ferjani Doghmani, head of the Finance, Development, and Planning Committee in the NCA.

Doghmani added that the NCA has unimpeded access to the Ministry of Finance’s reports and can make recommendations based on them.

For the head of the committee, it is necessary for the government to diversify its sources of revenue, especially those that do not derive from taxes, he said.

In the radio interview, Besbes stated that the budgetary process is transparent. Doghmani, nevertheless, pointed out that his committee is still waiting for the ministry to respond to its concerns regarding past budgets under the former transitional government of Beji Caid Essebsi and the toppled one of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

A survey by the International Budget Partnership last month, though, showed that Tunisia performed poorly in budget transparent in 2012. Among the parameters of the survey, Tunisia scored low in particular with regards to the capacity of its legislature to undertake budgetary oversight.

Farah Samti contributed reporting

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