Story written by Juldeh Njie
EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Gambia’s finance minister Mamburay Njie, said the country’s total revenue and grants in 2020 is projected at 24.47 billion dalasi, representing a reduction of 3 per cent over the 2019 figure of 25.2 billion dalasi.
While tabling the budget estimates for the 2020 fiscal year on Monday, Mr Njie told law makers at the National Assembly building in the capital, Banjul, that the reduction is attributed to project grants and budgetary support.
The 2020 budget incorporates new social initiatives like setting up a national health insurance scheme that will cover civil servants and other vulnerable groups. It will also feature innovative developmental model referred to as the emergency community developmental programme and the Banjul rehabilitation project.
“Project grants are estimated to decrease from D9.9 billion in 2019 to D8.1 billion in 2020, while we are also factoring budget support to the tune of D2.7 billion in 2020 compared to D3.4 billion in 2019. This is expected to come from our development partners, mainly the European Union and the World Bank,” he added.
He added that the total expenditure and net-lending is projected to increase from D28.825 billion in 2019 to D30.048 billion in 2020, representing an increase of 4 per cent, the bulk of the increment is attributed to debt interest payments.
The finance minister told NAMs that the personnel emolument expenditures are projected to increase from D4.2 billion in 2019 to D4.49 billion in 2020. “It is mainly yearly promotions for additional teachers and health workers who will be recruited. Debt interest payment is projected to consume around 40 per cent of government’s tax revenue in 2020 compared to 26 per cent in 2019, moving from D2.702 billion to D4.648 billion in 2020.”
According to him, non-interest expenditure is estimated to decline from D20.064 billion in 2019 to D18.206 billion in 2020. “Capital expenditure is estimated to increase from D1.880 billion in 2019 to D2.752 billion in 2020, mainly as a result of the various new and ongoing projects, in particular the OIC and the Banjul Rehabilitation projects,” he added.