EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Finance and economic affairs minister, Mamburay Njie, Friday tabled a bill entitled an Act to provide for the services of The Gambia from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, amounting to Twenty-one billion, three hundred and fifty million, six hundred and forty-six thousand and nine hundred and forty dalasis (D21, 350, 646, 941).
Enacted by the President and the National Assembly, the Act covers annual total expenditure catered for all the ministries and government departments. It is also called the Appropriation Act 2020 and comes into force on 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2020.
The finance minister first tabled the budget estimates before the Assembly in late November and since then, deputies have been debating it. Last week, they spent over twenty hours on the budget but yet couldn’t not finalise.
Tabling the bill at his Friday appearance, finance minister Njie said the fund came out of the authorised Consolidated Revenue Fund, saying there may be issued from the Consolidated Revenue Fund during the period 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2020 (with both dates inclusive) sums not exceeding D21, 350, 646, 941 for the purpose specified in the schedule to the Act.
The 2019 budget was anchored on limiting Net Domestic Borrowing to 1.3 percent of GDP which was targeted to be achieved through applying fiscal discipline to narrow down the deficit and control domestic borrowing. The government was supposed to continue applying strong fiscal discipline and prioritize investments in line with appropriate stabilization policies, but the public debt situation still continues to put immense pressure on national investment now and in the future.
Gambia’s economy is heavily reliant on agriculture with no important mineral or other natural resources and has a limited agricultural base. About 65% of the population depend on crop and livestock for livelihood but short-run economic progress also remain highly dependent on foreign aid.
In the Consolidated Revenue Fund that finance minister tabled on Friday, Ministry of tourism and culture took D40, 957, 449 from the fund and Foreign affairs ministry with D1, 005, 827, 877 while Information, communication and infrastructure ministry takes D51, 855, 464.