EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul: THE GAMBIA: Gambia’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Hon. Amadou Sanneh as per the constitutional requirement of 1997 of the Republic of The Gambia and the public finance act of 2014, Monday presented the statement of estimated revenues, recurrent and development expenditures for the physical year 2018 before members the country’s national assembly. Total revenue and grants in 2018 is projected at 19.399 billion dalasis which represents an increase about 63% over 2017 figure of 11.909 billion. The increase according to the minister could mainly attributed to the increase performance in project grants which are estimated at 782 million in 2017 to 8.24 billion in 2018. While revenues that racked up 8.7 billion dalasis 2017 is projected at 9.5 billion in 2018.
According to section 152 (1) of the 1997 constitution requires the president to instruct the ministry of finance and economy Affairs to prepare and submit to the National Assembly the projected national budget at least 30days before the end of each financial year; the estimate revenues, recurrent and expenditures of the Gambia for the following year. Section 21 (1) of the public finance act equally requires the ministry to lay before the National Assembly the appropriation bill documents at least 30days the end of each financial year. Section 24 of this act specifies the content of the appropriation bill documents. The relevant documents are in cooperated with documents in the estimates being presented to the National Assembly. While section 152 (1)(A) of the constitution requires the National Assembly within the maximum period of 14days after receiving the estimates of revenues, recurrent and development expenditures consider and approve.
The Gambian economy is widely expected to grow by 5.3% in 2017 as opposed to an actual act of 2.2% in 2016. Notably, growth in the agricultural sector a major driver of the overall economy is expected to revamp 5.5% in 2017 from 0.5% in the preceding year. Industries are also expected to experience growth of 6.5% highlighting the positive outlook in the economy compared to the contraction 3.1% in 2016.
The low performance of the sector according to the minister is due to the negative impact of the December political impasse that affected the tourism sector leading to zero vacancy for some hotels over the period of January to March 2017. He concluded by saying the budget will be a useful tool in government’s drive to achieve microeconomic stability as well as the primary objective of reducing poverty and incoherent basic service delivery for all.