Finance Ministry says Total Projected Expenditure in 2024 is D42.078 Billion

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia’s Finance Ministry has disclosed that the projected total expenditure of ‘All Funds’ is estimated at D42.078 billion, for the 2024 fiscal year.

The Ministry made this disclosure during recent discussions by all relevant stakeholders on the 2024 Citizens’ Budget in order to deepen the understanding of the citizenry on the country’s 2024 economic status.

“All Funds’ in economic terms, means ‘all the resources that the government expects or has estimated to be at its disposal including tax and non-tax revenues, loans and grants’, during a particular fiscal year.

“Total expenditure for ‘All Funds’, is expected at D42.078 Billion. Total expenditure of the Government Local Fund is projected at D29.221 Billion,” the Ministry disclosed.

On sectoral spending, the Ministry continued that a total of D142 Million has been allocated to the Youth and Sport Ministry to finance its activities such as the establishment of business incubation centers and the provision of comprehensive training to young entrepreneurs in business development through coaching and mentoring.

“It is also meant to finance skills development programs for youth in areas such as electrical installation, construction, masonry, agronomy, horticulture, auto mechanics, tailoring, carpentry, plumbing, electronics, catering, welding, fabrication, painting and other livelihood activities,” the Ministry indicated.

On gender, the Ministry said an amount of D97 million has been allocated to the Gender Ministry for them to execute activities such as addressing the needs of marginalized groups like the disable, widows, orphans and people living with HIV/AIDS.

“A total of D133 million has been created for the Fisheries sector and this allocation is meant to support the implementation of activities such as the provision of safe and quality drinking water to an additional 250,000 rural people,” the Ministry said on Fisheries and Water Resources sector, adding that the said allocation for the Fisheries sector is to finance the installation of climate-friendly fish smoking ovens (NOPALE), fish drying racks, fish processing materials and equipment at Tanji and Gunjur Fish landing sites.

On the environment, the Ministry reported that a total of D626 million has been allocated to this sector for them to finance the execution of activities such as their engagement in the expansion of three protected areas that amount to 24,000 hectares, bringing the total area under coverage to 92,549 hectares, or 9.2 percent of the national land mass.

The Ministry said Government allocated D116 to the Trade Ministry, for them to execute programs such as the launch of a new employment policy for the years 2023-2028, in order to improve labor conditions, enhance employment and boost productivity.

“It is also meant to finance prioritization of establishing accredited testing laboratories for both food and non-food products in order to help local producers meet global standards,” the Ministry added.

On Tourism, the Ministry disclosed that a total of D251 Million has been allocated to this sector for some planned activities which include building resilience through the strengthening of sustainable coastal infrastructure, and the rehabilitation of existing tourism sites.

The Ministry said it has developed new fiscal policy measures for the fiscal year 2024, in line with its commitment to fiscal discipline across Ministries, Departments and Agencies in such a manner.

The ministry said that all public institutions including SOEs, agencies and local government agencies procuring goods and services, shall request for a tax clearance certificate issued by the Commissioner General;as well as all concession contracts and agreements that may be considered for tax exemption shall conform to Section 149 (3) of the 1997 constitution and Section 33 of the income and value added tax Act 2024. It also includes a new duty waiver from within an in-built tax compliance manager will be introduced in 2024, adding that MoFEA in collaboration with MoFA, will be introducing user charges for the legalization, authentication and translation of documents at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). The land registration, documentation and administration, current fees will be increased to reflect the service cost, and in the Health Sector, certain user fees will be increased to support cost recovery as well as the fees in the fisheries sector will also be revised to ensure that they reflect administrative cost that will also provide more funding for job creation and employment growth. It includes the excise tax rate on tobacco products will be increased on for example cigarettes, cigars/cigarillos which will from now, be increased from their current rate of D35/pack to D45/pack; and finally on expenditure saving measures, the policy includes the use of key performance indicators to monitor and analyze MDA operations.