By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Ministry of Finance has issued a statement to temporarily Ban public officials from travelling effect from October 1, 2018.
This Ban is specifically on all government funded trips except statutory meetings, the statement disclosed.
According to the issued statement signed by the Minister of Finance Mambury Njie, “This is necessitated by the overall fiscal slippages on Travels and to ensure expenses are within the overall travelling expenditure calling of the budget as approved by the National Assembly”. It further states that “The measure is needed to free up spending for social services such as Education, health and to engender economic growth and macroeconomic stability”.
The ban affects the rest of the Fiscal 2018 year, by extension it also applies to all Non-Subvented agencies, State owned enterprises and Central Bank of the Gambia.
The statement underscored that this is part of broader government efforts at fiscal consolidation across all levels of government.
The statement noted that this will improve the financial position of all relevant institutions to enable them to pay statutory tax and potential dividends to government where applicable.
It could be recalled that the Ministry of Finance recently announced the amount of travelling expenses the government incurred from January to July which amounted to more than two hundred and Thirty million Dalasi (230 million Dalasi).
This has grabbed the attention of many citizens, as a result they expressed their concerns through various platforms to call on government to reduce spending on travelling and instead divert these funds to productive sectors.