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2020 budget projects at D24.47B

Nov 19, 2019, 1:42 PM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

Finance Minister Mambury Njie has stated that the total revenue and grants in 2020 is projected at D24.47 billion, representing a reduction of 3% over 2019 figure of D25.2 billion. The reduction is mainly attributed to project grants and budget support, he told legislators on Monday as he tabled the 2020 budget expenditure.

He said project grants are estimated to decrease from D9.9 billion in 2019 to D8.1 billion in 2020, whilst “we are also factoring budget support to the tune of D2.7 billion in 2020 compared to D3.4 billion in 2019. This is expected to come from our development partners, mainly the European Union and the World Bank.”

Mr. Njie explained that total expenditure and net-lending is projected to increase from D28.825 billion in 2019 to D30.048 billion in 2020, representing an increase of 4 percent. He added that the bulk of the increment is attributed to debt interest payments. Personnel emolument expenditure are projected to increase from D4.2 billion in 2019 to D4.49 billion in 2020, mainly as a result of yearly promotions additional teachers and health workers that will be recruited, the minister said.

According to him, Debt interest payment is projected to consume around 40 percent of government’s tax revenues in 2020 compared to 26 percent in 2019, moving from D2.702 billion in 2019 to D4.648 billion in 2020, explain that the increment was as a result of mounting debt stock, domestic debt in particular, coupled with the envisaged rolling over of some of the domestic debt.

Mr. Njie said that other current (Non-Interest) expenditure is estimated to decline from D20.064 billion in 2019 to D18.206 billion in 2020, “reflecting our intention to embark on a fiscal consolidation process, capital expenditure is estimated to increase from D1.880 billion in 2019 to D2.752 billion in 2020, mainly as a result of the various new and ongoing projects in particular the OIC and Banjul rehabilitation projects.”

Minister Njie further explained that in terms of financing the deficit, Domestic Borrowing is projected to increase to D3.9 billion in 2020, which represents 4 percent of GDP, compared to D1.236 billion in 2020, staying within this borrowing ceiling and working towards reducing it is premised mainly on strict adherence to budget ceiling by all budget entities as well as the implementation of structural reforms.

“In addition the government is also expecting to conclude negotiation on debt restructuring with development partners, and an estimated D2 billion could be potentially freed up to 2020 as a result of this debt deferral this will give the necessary fiscal space to address debt sustainability issues as well as more financing of the national budget to priority National Development Plan (NDP) spending.”

He said this budget will be a useful tool in drive to achieve and sustain macroeconomic stability and the government’s primary objective of reducing poverty and improving basic service delivery for all, if we all recommit to strict fiscal discipline.

“The budget in essence is the single most important mechanism used by government to direct the social, economic life of the people of our nation.”