The executive director of the Pro-Poor Advocacy Group (Pro-PAG) has revealed that the total appropriation estimates of the 2013 budget stands at D4, 290, 858, 170. Omar Jobe was speaking Tuesday while making a power point presentation analysing the 2013 budget estimates, at the two-day pre-budget workshop organised for National Assembly members.
According to him, the Office of the President got an allocation of D300, 808, 647; National Assembly, D48, 704, 184; Judiciary, D48, 090, 878; Ministry of Defence, D362, 304, 616; Ministry of Interior and Religious Affairs, D364, 656, 666; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, D393, 028, 632; Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, D309, 890, 679; Pension and Gratuities, D95, 925, 000; Miscellaneous, D113, 100, 00; Ministry of Agriculture, D118, 604, 901; Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, D55, 181, 281; Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, D660, 122, 737; Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, D437, 002, 298; Higher Education, D80, 182, 124; and others D239,347,611.
Jobe explained that Domestic Borrowing is 26.33%, while Foreign Borrowing is 73.67%. "Borrowing is necessary to offset the 2013 budget deficit of -692,737. But domestic borrowing has a crowding out effect, in the sense that it results in low private sector borrowing, low private sector investments, high interest rates and slower economic growth," he added.
Jobe noted that the sources of government revenue are the Gambia Local Funds (GLF), which is mainly from taxation (66.74%); loans from domestic and foreign sources (10.59%); and grants from domestic and foreign sources (22.67%).
He said for 2013, allocations to poverty programmes from the GLF fund increased slightly to 50.55% from 49.10% in 2012, discretionary allocations have dropped by the same proportion, from 50.90% in 2012 to 48.45% in the 2013 budget, and for all funds (loans, grants and GLF), poverty programmes have already taken the lion's share - driven by donor funding.