By Alemayehu Bacha
Sufian Ahmed, Minister for Finance and Economic Development presented Ethiopia’s 2014/2015 budget bill on Monday, June 9, 2014 to the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) suggesting the fiscal year’s budget to be 178.6 Billion Birr. After the presentation the House sent the bill for further examination to the House’s Finance and Budget Affairs Standing Committee.
The House is expected to deliberate on the bill after 20 days following the committee’s review.
During the presentation Sufian stated the government expenditure got here after putting in to consideration the current fiscal year’s execution and social and economic engagements that need addition expenses. He emphasized the bill has considered key issues government policies and strategies have granted their attention to.
Sufian told MPs the bill has considered different things including but not limited to; programmes of government offices which are compatible with their duties and mission, increased and sustained participation of civil servants and the need for increasing regular budget to lead projects of capital budget.
The Minister also described how the entire budget is going to be distributed. According to him the 178.6 Billion Birr will see 45 Billion of it going to regular budget. Capital budget and subsidy for states also had 66 Billion Birr and 52 Billion Birr allotted to them respectively. The last two are facing a 37.5 percent and 28.9 percent respective increment when compared to the outgoing fiscal year.
In addition to this, Sufian stated, for strengthening development engagements to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG) the bill has allocated 15 Billion Birr.
According to Sufian the bill gave much attention to key economic sectors that are believed to be ideal to reducing poverty which in turn are targeted to meet the five years Growth and Transformation Plan. He added the fact 64.8 percent of the capital budget is allocated for road, education, agriculture, health, rural electrification and more is evidentiary to what he is claiming.
Sufian has also admitted the suggested budget is higher than the current fiscal year and the increment to be by 15.3 percent.
Commenting on the Federal government’s income collected from local and foreign loan and grant sources, the Minister said in 2014 the government managed to collect nearly 157 Billion Birr. He furthered this surpasses the government’s performance in 2006 by 20.7 percent. He continued, the budget is facing a 21 Billion Birr deficit and the government is planning to fill it from domestic loans.
Answering if the budget deficit poses a threat of inflation the Minister said the deficit is only 1.8 percent and this would not affect inflation negatively.
Source: The Ethiopian Herlad