Finance Minister Njie made these remarks while updating the National Assembly on recent developments pertaining to government budget execution as at end of April 2020.
He said: Out of the total (GLF) expenditure, 24 percent was spent on other recurrent, 26 percent on personnel emoluments, 24 percent on subvention, 12 percent on debt service and 14 percent on capital development.”
Njie added that other recurrent expenditure increased from 994 million in 2019 to 1.2 billion in 2020, registering a growth of 22 percent, whilst 22% of its approved budget was spent during the period under review.
“Government did allocate an additional D500 million to the Ministry of Health under other recurrent, which was obtained by reallocating budget votes from various budget entities and channeled towards combating the covid-19 pandemic. The bulk of the reallocations came from travel expenses, trainings and other non-essential budget line items.”
According to him, as at end of April 2020, Personnel Emolument (PE) increased from D1.02 billion in 2019 to D1.34 billion in 2020, recording a 31 percent year on year growth. Debt service has decreased by 51 percent, from D1.2 billion in April 2019 to D607 million in April 2020.
“Meanwhile, Capital Development has increased by 348 percent relative to last year from D153 million in 2019 to D687 million in 2020. This is primarily attributed to the first installment payment made towards the Banjul Rehabilitation Project.”
Minister Njie further stated that the top three spending ministries during the period under review : Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (D916 million), Ministry of Works and Infrastructure (D478 million), and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (D372 million) in terms of absorbed 73 % of its approved budget as of end April 2020. This is due to the payment made towards the Banjul Rehabilitation Project. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs budget absorption rate did reach 36% mainly due to the increased subvention given to its satellite agencies.”
"The top spending budget line items are: Roads and Bridges (D428 million), operating costs (D172 million), Rents and Rates (D124 million), Food and Food Services (97 million), Travel Expenses (D83 million), and the School Improvement Grant (D82 million)," he added.
The Finance minister disclosed that D436 million was approved for the roads and bridges budget line, and as at end of April 2020, D428 million was absorbed, representing a 98 percent absorption rate. In addition to payments made towards the Banjul Rehabilitation Project, payments were also made towards the Laminkoto to Passimas Road project.
He said that as regards to recent developments pertaining the covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs intends to reprioritise the objectives of the 2020 budget and place additional emphasis on combating the pandemic by availing more resources to critical sectors, such as Health. “We will nonetheless take all necessary steps to ascertain budget execution is conducted in a prudent and disciplined manner and avoid major fiscal slippages from now until the end of 2020,” he assured.