Finance Minister Mamburey Njie Delivers D17 Billion Budget For 2019

The Honourable Finance Minister, Mamburey Njie in tabling the appropriation Bill on Friday said that total Revenue and Grants for 2019 is estimated at D25.3 billion (28.8 percent of GDP), a 28 percent growth from D19.8 billion (25.3 percent of the old GDP) budgeted in 2018.

This is mainly due to an increase in both Domestic Revenue collections and Grant inflows compared to the budgeted amount in 2018.

Domestic resource mobilization is estimated to improve and increase 2019 collections to D11.8 billion (13.5 percent of GDP), compared to a budgeted figure of D9.6 billion (18.4 percent of the old GDP) in 2018.

Similarly, tax revenue is projected to grow by 26 percent to D10.9 billion in 2019, compared to D8.66 billion budgeted in 2018.

In addition, non-tax revenue is anticipated to register a marginal increment, with an estimate of D1.0 billion (1.1 percent of GDP) in 2019, compared to a budget of D0.9 billion (1.86 percent of the old GDP) in 2018.

On Expenditure, the minister noted that Total expenditure and net lending is projected at D28.7 billion (32.8 percent of GDP) in 2019 from D20.8 billion budgeted in 2018, representing an increase of 38.4 percent—the bulk of which is budgeted for current expenditure.  Expenditure on personnel emoluments is projected to increase from D2.8 billion in 2018 to D4.1 billion in 2019, mainly due to the fifty percent salary increment for civil servants that will be implemented in 2019.  Other recurrent expenditures are expected to increase by 27 percent from 4.5 billion to 5.7 billion.

Similarly, expenditure on interest payments is estimated to slightly increase to D2.7 billion (3.1 percent of GDP) in 2019 compared to D2.3 billion (4.4 percent of the old GDP) in 2018.  Additionally, development expenditure is also projected to increase by 44 percent to D16 billion (18 percent of GDP) in 2019 compared to a budget of D11.1 billion (21 percent of the old GDP) in 2018. Overall, the fiscal deficit is anticipated to increase to 3.4 billion (4 percent of GDP) in 2019 from D0.9 billion (1.8 percent of the old GDP) budgeted in 2018

On tax reforms the Minister said that Government will implement the following tax reform measures with effect from 1st January 2019 and these include: The excise tariff for new cars will be raised from 20 percent to 25 percent. The tariff on commercial rent will be raised from 10 percent to 15 percent. All commercial rental contracts must be deposited with the Rent Tribunal. With Effect from 1st January 2019, excise tax on the spirits, wine and beer will increase accordingly:

In his conclusion the Finance Minister noted the The Gambia has registered some positive economic gains during the period under review. However, our fiscal position remains critically tight hence requiring the employment of innovative ways to boost domestic revenue mobilization, coupled with prudent macroeconomic management.

Maintaining macroeconomic stability continues to be our main objective going forward, which will require aligning our expenditures strictly with the budget and financial regulations.  He added that as we recover from a difficult transition, macroeconomic stability becomes a prerequisite anchor towards our national development objectives as enshrined in our National Development Plan

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