l would like to submit on behalf of the government of The Gambia, the
Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2018, for consideration and approval by
the National Assembly.
The legal requirements for the presentation of supplementary appropriation (SAP) is provided under PART V, section 30 sub-section (1) & (2) of the Public Finance Act of 2014.
The 2018 budget principles were fiscal prudence, consolidation and ensuring debt sustainability and growth. Its parameters were anchored on a target deficit 2 percent of GDP (equivalent to GMD922 million) and a Net Domestic Borrowing (NDB) of 1.09 percent to GDP (equivalent to D570.7million).
Fiscal deficit is expected to be around 3 percent of GDP (Rebased) by end December 2018 including the proposed SAP 2018 Bill of GMD 1 billion, provided we receive the anticipated budget support from the EU and France (GMD1.2 billion by year-end). This performance is not by any measure a mean performance due to some unavoidable macro-fiscal challenges in the course of implementation of the 2018 budget. The government of The Gambia had to respond to the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease, the demands from the teachers and nurses, shortage of medicine at the hospitals and rising fuel prices, which resulted to expansionary fiscal pressures and warranting accommodation for unplanned expenditure ln the course of 2018 fiscal year. Despite these challenging developments the macro-fiscal fundamentals remain strong. However certain key fiscal pressure areas require attention in order to maintain this strength and are highlighted below:
- Personnel Emoluments
Personnel emoluments registered an increment of 27 percent as a result of basic car and transport allowance increases and this amounted to GMD203.69 million.
- Establishment of New Agencies:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Commission of Enquiry into the financial dealings of the former President, the Constitutional Review Commission, the Faraba Banta Commission and the SSHFC Panel of investigators, which had no budgetary provisions or were seriously under budgeted warranted the pre-financing of their activities through virements from other existing line items registering a shortfall of GMD 236.14. It is also worthwhile to note that some of these shortfalls were as a result of additional demands from the National Assembly.
- Contribution to International Organizations
The re-admission of the Gambia back to the fold of the International community has corresponding financial obligations, in particular arrears settlement, to enable The Gambia to participate fully and play its role in the global community of trade, investment and aid agenda. These required additional expenditure of GMD 226.36 million.
- Foreign Policy:
The maintenance expenditure towards foreign missions has increased due to the opening and maintenance of foreign missions, including the deployment of staff. These lead to expenditure commitments in the movement of staff, other related operational activities and the depreciation of the dalasi against major foreign currencies. This requires an amount of GMD 65.9 million.
- Transfers & Subsidies:
The Government of the Gambia provides for electricity, water, farm inputs and agricultural commodities through subsidies and transfers to support the operations of some State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), in particular the Gambia National Food Processing and Marketing Corporation (GGC) and NAWEC amounting to GMD D402.6 million.
The financing of this supplementary expenditure will be through domestic borrowing.
Thus, l submit to the National Assembly for consideration, a Supplementary Appropriation bill 2018 in the sum of D1, 128, 337, 519.77 (one billion, one hundred and twenty-eight million, three hundred and thirty-seven thousand, five hundred and nineteen dalasis, seventy-seven bututs).
Honorable speaker, a detailed description of the items is herein attached.