Luanda — The National Assembly on Wednesday approved the revised Draft State Budget (OGE) for 2019 with 118 votes in favor, 28 against from opposition (UNITA) and 13 abstentions from CASA-CE coalition, FNLA and PRS.
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Américo Cuononoca, ruling MPLA whip
The document, introduced by the Finance minister, Archer Mangueira, has been approved with expenses and revenues set at 10.4 billion of Kwanzas representing an 8.40 percent reduction compared to the chunk initially approved of 11.3 billion.
The Draft State Budget, which was revised with oil price benchmark set at USD 55 per barrel and without budget deficit, prioritizes the social sector with 33.5 percent of its total of expenses.
According to the Joint Report approved by the parliament's specialized commissions, the revised OGE is aims at accomplishing the government's macroeconomic and development policies to be achieved in 2019, as contained in the 2018-2019 National Development Plan (PDN).
However, the largest opposition party, UNITA, defends that the revised draft budget does not concretely define any economic or social policy to improve the indicators of absolute and relative poverty.
"It is recommendable that the draft budget showed the quantification of the impact of the public debt on the index of quality of life of the people, in relation to fundamental aspects such as food, housing, health, education and structural combat against drought in southern Angola" said the UNITA whip.
The UNITA MP also expressed indignation at the fact that the revised draft budget does not include any resource recovered through the assets repatriation process.
The CASA-CE coalition, on its turn, understands that the draft budget continues to be one of transition.
" There is similarity with previous two budgets approved, we don't see, in this proposal, the adoption of any option that can lead us to understand the way through which the government intends to sort out the financial and economic problems affecting the country" said the CASA-CE whip.
Meanwhile, the FNLA MP highlighted that crude-oil has been the source of Angola's illusions, and because of that the country has been paying dearly in the last few years.
On his turn, the whip of the ruling MPLA considered it important to maintain unity and cohesion, seek inner strength and commitment of all to overcome the hardships the country has faced. "That is a tough stage, we believe it will be surpassed", said the politician.
The revised Draft State Budget for 2019 will now be analysed by the specialty commission of the National Assembly (Parliament).