Finance Minister Njie made these remarks while responding to questions from lawmakers at parliament on Wednesday.
He said the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is the top monetary policy decision making body of the Central Bank with the primary objective of maintaining price and exchange rate stability.
Mr. Njie said the increase in the price of essential commodities over the last two years reflects the global trend. “We have seen across all countries due to the COVID -19 pandemic which causes supply chain challenges and increase in freight which were inflationary.”
According him, domestic structural challenges such as congestion in the seaport, shortages during the peak of the pandemic all further fuelled inflation.
The Gambian Economic Affairs Minister said Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) is responsible for maintaining price stability. “It is likely that the recent price hike is blamed on the Ministry of Trade because the promulgation on the price of essential commodities that was done during the pandemic was channelled through the Ministry and with most commodity issue price or supply in the country. The ministry works on behalf of the government to resolve them. These may be the reasons why people attribute price hikes to the Ministry.
He added that the government is working on addressing some of the issues which have caused the price hikes, which include port expansion to reduce port congestion and charges.
“The government and the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) are monitoring national and global development and their possible impacts on domestic inflation.”
Finance Minister Njie also informed the lawmakers that the total revenue that government has lost since the duty on rice was lifted in 2018 stands at D837,773,960 (eight hundred and thirty-seven million, seven hundred and seventy-three thousand, nine hundred and sixty dalasi).