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 D11 Billion Gambia Budget 2014 Estimates
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2013 :  04:27:18  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
Finance Minister Presents D11 Billion Estimates for 2014

Foroyaa Burning Issues: Published on Wednesday, 3 December 2013


The Gambia’s total expenditure and net-lending is projected to rise from D8,291.0 million in 2013 to D11,506.8 million in 2014, an increase of 38.8 per cent, said the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. Mr. Kebba S. Touray, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs was speaking yesterday at the National Assembly while presenting the estimates of revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2014 to deputies at the National Assembly in Banjul. The Finance Minister added that personnel expenditures are projected to increase by around 26.4 per cent in 2014 to D2,043.5 million, Capital spending, including externally financed, is estimated to rise by 34.9 per cent in 2014 to D3,690.5 million, he stated.

He said total domestic revenue in 2014 is projected to rise by 2l.8 per cent over 2013 estimates. This is principally due to a 20.5 per cent expected rise in tax revenue and a 32.0 per cent projected increase in non-tax revenue, he said. These forecasts, he continued, assume that GRA will continue to make improvements in compliance levels as well as implement the revenue measures. Minister Touray stated that a budget support of D313 million is anticipated from the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

In 2013, he said the approved fiscal deficit was projected to be D692.7 million. During budget implementation, he noted that the revised projection for the fiscal deficit by end 2013 is D2,456 million.

According to him the projected fiscal deficit for 2014 is D2,877.1 million, which is 17% higher than the revised projection for 2013. Net Domestic Borrowing, Minister Touray said, is projected to be limited to D933.5 million in 2014, around 2.5 per cent of GDP, external loan disbursements to finance new and ongoing projects is estimated at D2.496 billion whilst the repayments of principals on external loans is programmed at D763 million.

He further said the depreciation pressure emerged following low exports from the below average harvest in 2012, the dalasi has depreciated 11th percent against the US dollar,12 percent against the Euro and 9 percent against the Pound sterling. He said gross official international reserves stood at US 160 million, which is equivalent to 4 months of projected imports of goods and services. Minister Touray stated that risks associated with The Gambia’s heavy debt burden particularly domestic debt have intensified in recent months reflecting difficulties in coping with spending pressures.

According to him, government’s Net Domestic Borrowing (NBD) increased sharply and together with the tightening of monetary policy led to T- bill yields rising by some 600 basis point since late May in 2013. Notwithstanding such developments, auctions in recent months have been undersubscribed even as the CBG has strictly limited the amounts to be auctioned, raising concerns about the rollover of maturities falling due in the future, he said.

The Finance Minister added that in the beginning of the third quarter, spending pressures increased and as a consequence, NDB for the first three quarters alone reached 4.3 percent of the projected annual GDP, as compared to a target of 1.8 percent of GDP for all 2013. By end of 2013, he said, the total stock of public debt is projected to reach 80 percent of GDP which requires urgent corrective measures to bring the level of debt to a sustainable level in the medium to long term.

Minister Touray told the National Assembly that the legal requirements for the presentation of government budget to the National Assembly are detailed out in the 1997 constitution and the budget management and accountability Act 2004. He said section 152 of the 1997 constitution requires the president to instruct the minister of finance and economic affairs to prepare and submit to the National Assembly at least 30 days before the end of each financial year, the estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the government.

He further said section 152 of the constitution also requires the National Assembly to consider and approve the estimates of revenues and expenditure within a maximum period of 14 days. The minister further stated that the National Assembly may appoint temporarily or permanently a small core of technical staff to assist in gathering information, make research and analysis on issues pertinent to its deliberation and resolution on the budget forwarded to it by the minister of finance and economic affairs.

The minister informed the Assembly of the recent macroeconomic and fiscal developments and the reforms undertaken during the financial year 2013.

He said real GDP growth is expected to grow by 6.6% percent in 2013 up from 5 ¼ percent in 2012 driven by a continued recovery in agriculture after the severe drought of 2011 and continued growth in tourism.

He said inflation has edged up since January 2013 increasing to 6.1% in September 2013 below 5% at end 2012, due to weakening of the Gambia Dalasis. The Finance Minister stated that the 2014 Budget presents the framework by which the Government's priorities, in terms of programs and projects, are formulated and implemented.

It is important to note that the main objectives of the 2014 budget are to create more savings on interest payments to allow increased financing of government programs and to make allocations that meet set targets for Agriculture, Health and Education, he said.

Minister Touray noted that they intend to achieve this by bringing down the stock of domestic debt relative to GDP through the reduction of their net domestic borrowing requirements over the short to medium term. This, he went on, is expected to lead to a drop in the domestic debt ratio from the end 2013 projection of 80 percent to 60 percent by end 2016. Thus, the NDB is projected to decline from 6 percent by end 2013 to 2.5 percent in 2014, he said. He stressed that there is an urgent need to contain the growth in domestic debt, and for that matter to limit the overall growth of government expenditure in line with revenue growth. Achieving this, however, would be difficult unless there is high level commitment from all stakeholders, he stated.

Minister Touray explained that the Government recognizes the significant challenges it faces to mobilize the resources needed to implement our development agenda, and will therefore address the issues through a broad based approach, including a rebuilding of government revenues, savings from reduced interest on domestic debt, accessing external concessional financing while maintaining debt sustainability and harnessing private sector participation in viable sectors.

Efforts will be made to curtail growth in recurrent spending on non-productive activities, he said.

The Finance Minister said government seeks to address optimally the major debt problems and issues confronting the Gambian economy by exploring new innovative ways of mobilizing external resources in order to ensure that there is sustainable development.

It will also partner with the private sector and donors in putting in place a legal and regulatory framework for public- private partnership initiatives, embark on a campaign of communications for attracting foreign direct investments and also facilitate the participation of the private investors in the national development programs, he said. He added that they are aware of the challenges but there is indeed the will and political commitment to embark on this path. While urging the House to approve the budget estimates, the Finance Minister explained that the 2014 budget will assist The National Assembly in its deliberations and subsequent consideration of the Budget Document.

“I am convinced beyond any doubt that if approved, this budget will be a useful tool to achieve and sustain macroeconomic stability and the Government's primary objective of reducing poverty. I also believe that the budget is consistent with The Gambia's long-term growth path,” he remarked.

Seconding the motion, the Majority Leader and Member for Serrekunda East, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, called on his colleagues to consider the estimates. He said it reflects government priorities, project and programmes to ensure microeconomic reforms.

He told the House that any good budget must and should ensure to lower poverty among its people. He added that it also reflects and ensures domestic borrowing is reduced, currency stability and of course a reduction to management expenditure.

Hon. Jatta said they realized that government revenue rate of increase over the years has risen to 21.8%, which reminds them of the introduction of VAT.

We are aware of the necessary political will to ensure that our set objectives are achieved over the years, he said. The NAMs will be debating the Budget Estimates for 2014 on the 9th of December 2013.

Source: Foroyaa

Edited by - kobo on 05 Dec 2013 04:33:28

kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2013 :  04:32:00  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
1. OPINIONS OF SMALL BUSINESS OPERATORS THE 2014 BUDGET

Foroyaa Burning Issues: Published on Wednesday, 3 December 2013


As the 2014 Budget estimates is released by the Minister of Finance Hon. Kebba Touray before the Deputies on Monday 2nd, December, 2013 where it was disclosed that the 2014th budget is projected to rise from D8,291.0 million in 2013 to D11,506.8 Million dalasi in 2014. However, the Finance Minister said that the main objective of 2014 budget are to create more savings on interest payments to allow increased financing of government programs and to make allocations that meet set targets for Agriculture, Health and Education.

Since it is very clear that the said amount of money must be generated from the people of the Gambia including the small business operators through taxation which will certainly increase or expand anytime the implementation of the said budget becomes operational, Foroyaa decided to go around to speak to some small business operators in the Greater Banjul area on how they feel about the presented estimates by the government and the likely impact they will face any time it is implemented....

Source: Foroyaa & full report

2. IS THE GOVERNMENT MAKING THE RIGHT POLICIES? THE SIGNALS FROM THE BUDGET

Foroyaa Editorial: Published on Wednesday, 3 December 2013


The Minister of Finance has laid the estimates before the National Assembly to indicate the revenue and expenditure of the Government for 2014. One thing that is very clear is that the country cannot rely on taxation alone to generate revenue and still maintain a balanced budget aimed at eradicating poverty.

The Minister has made it very clear that the approved fiscal deficit for 2013 was projected to be 692.7 Million dalasis. However this has been revised upwards to 2456 Million dalasis. The gap must either be filled through the intensification of taxation which would increase poverty, if not accompanied by the growth of the productive base of the economy, or increase the public debt which is becoming unsustainable.

The deficit for 2014 is now projected to be 2877.7 dalasis. This means that the public debt would be increasing by billions annually if taxation could not increase by billions. The skyrocketing rise of expenditure of 8,291 Million in 2013 is accompanied by revenue shortfalls thus leading to an increase in the deficits. Poverty is increasing as inflation increased by 6.7 percent.

According to the Minister this is due largely to the depreciation of the dalasi because of low export earnings , increase in the public debt and less inflows from donors.

According to him the dalasi depreciated by 12 percent against the Euro, 11 Percent against the dollar and 9 percent against the pound.

Hence the deficit has shown that the risk associated with heavy debt burden is increasing and using military means to determine the exchange rate of the dalasi is unworkable. There is no doubt that the pronouncements of the government is increasingly isolating it from donors without any visible investment in the productive base of the economy to offset donor funding gaps. Nothing bars the government from upholding the rule of law and ensuring respect for constitutionality and human rights.

Calling democracy, respect for human rights and democracy as western ideology isolates the government from many countries in the world whose cooperation it needs.

All Gambians should be concerned about the policy direction of the government as it isolates even its own traditional partners like Taiwan. What is it banking on that would enable it to build infrastructure while eradicating poverty?

This is the unanswered question.

Source: Foroyaa

3. Related Bantaba topic Gambia 2013 Budget

Edited by - kobo on 05 Dec 2013 09:11:35
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2013 :  00:04:15  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
1. 2014 Draft Budget estimates approved

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Deputies at the National Assembly Tuesday unanimously amended and approved the 2014 Draft Budget estimates of revenue and expenditure of the government of the Republic of The Gambia for the fiscal year 1st January to 31st December 2014.

It came, after it was first laid before lawmakers for scrutiny, last week by the minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Kebba S. Touray.

Participating in the debate that preceded the adoption of the budget, the member for Serrekunda West, Hon. Sulayman Joof, said the Finance minister has presented a “realistic” budget and thus urged fellow members to approve it......

SOURCE: Daily Observer News & full report

2. Assembly approves 2014 draft budget estimates

National Assembly members on Tuesday approved with amendments the 2014 Draft Budget Estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Gambia government for the fiscal year beginning 1st January to 31st December, 2014.

The draft estimate was earlier laid before deputies by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Kebba Touray.

Speaking during the debate on the Estimates before approval, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, majority leader and member for Serrekunda East constituency, who first called on members to be honest on the budget and the situation at hand, said it is significant after undergoing through the budget to be critical and objective....

SOURCE: The Point News & full report

Edited by - kobo on 12 Dec 2013 00:05:35
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2014 :  19:44:12  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
1. THE GOVERNMENT HAS MORE EXPLANATION TO DO ON PETROLEUM EXPLORATION

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In the 2013 Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance informed the Gambian public that The Government of the Gambia continues to promote petroleum exploration, development and production. According to him, two new petroleum offshore licenses, A2 N and A5 were signed in May 2012, thus bringing the total number of offshore blocks licensed to four. Meanwhile, Government continues to closely work with and facilitate the implementation of the A1 and A4 licenses awarded to African Petroleum Company (APC).

In the 2014 budget Speech there is no mention of petroleum exploration, development and production. Many people are therefore surprise by the following press release: Gambia terminates petroleum exploration licenses of companies The government of The Gambia, acting in accordance with the provisions of the petroleum laws of The Gambia has terminated petroleum exploration, development and production licenses due to “failure to meet the licence obligations by the licensees," a press release from the presidency has announced Monday.

The following Petroleum licenses, according to the release are; Offshore Blocks A1 and A4 licensed to African Petroleum Gambia Limited and Buried Hill Gambia B.V. as partners; Onshore Block Lower River licensed to Oranto Petroleum Limited. “These Licenses have been terminated with immediate effect. The Gambia government will not allow any institution to acquire licenses only to keep them for speculation. In our bid to harness our natural resources for the benefit of Gambians, we are not going to deal with speculators,” it concluded.

People want to know the current state or true prospects of petroleum exploration, development and production in the country and which companies are in charge. Announcing the cancellation of licenses is not enough.

Source: Foroyaa Burning Issues News

2. Related Bantaba Gambian politics topic African Petroleum looks to drill offshore Gambia

Edited by - kobo on 16 Jan 2014 19:49:02
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