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Draft 2011 budget estimate tabled before Parliament

Dec 1, 2010, 12:17 PM | Article By: Lamin B Darboe

The Minister of Finance Abdou Colley on Monday tabled before deputies at the National Assembly in Banjul the estimates of revenues, recurrent and development expenditures for the fiscal year 2011.

Under the 2011 Budget Estimates, total revenue and grants is estimated to increase from an approved level of D5.50 billion in 2010 to D5.65 billion in 2011, representing 17.82 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

This, according to Finance Minister Colley, is attributed to increases in domestic revenue and project grants. Domestic tax revenue is also estimated to increase from the approved figure of D3.99 billion in 2010 to D4.07 billion in 2011, while project grants is estimated to increase from D636.16 million in 2010 to D981.10 million in 2011.

In his submission, Minister Colley said “the Gambian economy continues its robust growth trajectory in the face of an unfavorable global economic environment”.

He further told deputies that “GDP is estimated to grow by about 5.5 percent in 2010, an improvement over the previous projection of 5 percent, underpinned by healthy performance of the agricultural sector.

“Inflation continues to be subdued with average inflation (12-month moving average) standing at 4.2 percent in September 2010 compared to 5.6 percent a year earlier. Food items, accounting for 55 percent of the weight of the basket of goods and services, continued to be the main driver of headline inflation,” Colley added.

According to Finance Minister Colley, total expenditure and net lending is estimated to increase from D5.77 billion in 2010 to D6.12 billion in 2011, representing 19.30 percent of GDP.

“This increase is mainly attributed to increase in personnel emoluments, which is projected to grow by 11.5 percent and other current expenditure.

“Interest payment is projected to increase from D762.40 million in 2011 to D918.59 million (representing 2.90 percent of GDP) in 2011. This is mainly attributable to the securitization of the government overdraft position with the Central Bank in the interest of better fiscal management,” he stated.

The fiscal deficit, Colley continued, is estimated at D466.56 million or 1.47 percent of GDP in 2010.

“This compares favorably with the previous year and further demonstrates government’s commitment to restrain borrowing, especially in the domestic market,” he went on.

Colley further stated that the deficit would be financed by foreign and domestic borrowing amounting to D833.82 million and D120.00 million respectively, adding that foreign amortization is projected at D506.20 million.