minister of Finance and Economic Affairs has revealed that the total revenue
and grants for the 2018 is projected at D19.399 billion, which represents an
increment of 63% over 2017 figure of D11.909 billion, on the estimates of
revenues, recurrent and development expenditures for the Fiscal year 2018
Amadou Sanneh, while tabling the estimates before deputies of the National Assembly on Monday, said that the increment was mainly attributed to increase performances in project grants.
The project grants, he said, are estimated to increase from D782 million in 2017 to D8.24. “We are also budgeting for budget support to the tune of D1.96 billion expected to come from our development partners in 2018.”
According to the Finance minister, The Gambian economy is expected to grow by 5.3 percent in 2017 compared to an actual outcome of 2.2 percent in 2016 – notably growth in Agricultural sector, a major driver of overall economic growth, is expected to rebound to 5.5 percent in 2017 from 0.5 percent in the preceding year.
He said that Agricultural industry is also expected to experience growth of 6.5 percent highlighting the positive outlook in the economy compared to the contraction of 3.1 percent in 2016.
“The service sector is anticipated to experience a small set back, with growth falling from 5.1 percent in 2016 to a forecast of 4.5 percent in 2017,” he said. “The low performance of the sector is due to the negative impact of the December political impasse that affected the tourism sector, leading to zero occupancy over the period January-March 2017.
Minister Sanneh went further to inform deputies that developments in the monetary rate signals improvement in access to affordable financing, with the policy rate falling from 20 percent as at the beginning of 2017 to 15 percent as at end June 2017.
“Money supply in September 2017 grew by 22.0 percent compared to 8.3 percent in the same period in 2016, reflecting the significant increase in the net foreign assets of the banking system”
On the Fiscal front, the Finance Minister said budget execution has improved over the past year as compared to previous years, when expansionary fiscal policies led to unsustainable budget overruns, resulting in substantial domestic borrowing to finance the deficit.
On the expenditure front, he said total expenditure (GLF) and net lending has reached around D8.7 billion as of end October, which is 1.9 percent less than the 2016 figure of D8.87 billion.
“The components of current actual expenditure comprising of Wages and Salaries, and Capital Expenditure have increased (Jan-Oct) by 6 percent, 9 percent respectively, whereas other charges have decreased by 11 percent compared to the same period in 2016.”