Story written by Juldeh Njie
EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: The Gambia will increase its domestic borrowing to 3.9 billion dalasi in 2020, which represents 4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product –GDP-compared to 1.2 billion dalasi in 2019.
The country’s debt to GDP in 2018 reached 86 percent, a dismal fall from the 2017 budget which had it at 87 percent of the GDP. Debt to GDP is now projected to trend around 50 percent in 2020, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations.
Debt interest payment is projected to consume around 40 per cent of government tax revenues in 2020 compared to 26 per cent in 2019, meaning interest payments would move from 2.7 billion dalasi to 4.6 billion dalasi.
Finance and Economic Affairs minister, Mamburay Njie told law makers on Monday that budget support from key partners such as the EU and The World Bank have not materialised despite the startling pledges in 2019.
“The projected budget support from the European Union (EU) and the World Bank (WB), which comprise the bulk of our estimated support for this year, have not materialized,” he said.
However, Government still expects the EU to fulfill a 22 million Euros budget support pledge before end of this year. “Although, the World Bank budget support is unlikely to materialize due to slippages emanating from the non-realisation of certain Development Policy Operation (DPO) targets.”
For the next year, project grants are estimated to decrease from 9.9 billion dalasi in 2019 to 8.1 billion dalasi in 2020, with budget support anticipated to the tune of 2.7 billion dalasi.
Debt servicing in the 2020 budget has jump to 9 billion dalasi compared to 4.3, and 4.7 billion dalasi in 2018 and 2019, respectively.