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Government requests 33.99 bln birr supplementary budget

In an attempt to fill funding gaps in on-going government projects and to accommodate the upcoming costs of population and housing census in addition to other expenditures, the Ethiopian Government has requested a supplementary budget of 33.9 billion birr, The Reporter has learnt.

Tabled before the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR), on Tuesday, the draft budget bill proposes around 33.7 billion birr to cover recurrent expenditures, while the remaining 240 million birr is intended for capital expenditures.

Furthermore, the additional budget will be used for the Tulu Kepi gold mines road and power line projects, to deal with natural disasters, and finance development programs for this fiscal year. 

It is to be recalled that, in July 2018/19, the House approved a total budget of 346.9 billion birr for the budget year.

The draft bill also indicates that a 16.99 billion birr Direct Budget Assistance and a 16.99 billion birr loan have been obtained from the International Development Associations (IDA).

“Hence, the supplementary budget has been proposed in consideration to the amount of revenue of 33.99 billion birr to be amassed,” the draft bill states.

Similarly, it also refers to the June 2018 budget of 346.9 billion birrwhich was endorsed with an assumption of covering a 59.3 billion birr recurrent expenditure that would be collected from domestic revenues.

From the proposed supplementary budget, six billion birr will be used to pay contractors working on various government projects while 946 million birr is requested to cover the financial expenditure of the Census and Housing which will be kicked off soon.

In addition, the financial need of emergency response activities thathas occurred in the country is also part of supplementary budget package. Hence, a three billion birr additional budget has been requested to address the prospective emergency and disasters in the future. For these, the bill proposes a combined amount of 33.7 billion birr.

Nevertheless, the House, after firsthand discussions, has referred the proposed bill to the Revenue, Budget and Finance Standing Committee for further revision.

Similarly, the House, before referring them to their respective standing committees, discussed on bilateral trade deals as well as various loan agreements the Government has signedwith various lenders and financial institutions to finance various projects.

The loan agreements, which were presented on Tuesdays regular session includes trade agreements between Ethiopia and Djibouti while others are the likes of loan agreements signed between Ethiopia and Italy.The Ethio-Djibouti trade agreement,which was intended to boost the existing trade relationship between the two nations, is also another accord that was presented to House for approval.

In addition, the draft bill on the loan agreementconcluded between Ethiopia and Italy is also discussed. As stated in the proposed draft bill, this agreement is aimed at supplying aroundEUR30 million for financing Inclusive and Sustainable Development of Agricultural Value Chain programs.

Likewise, referred to the same standing committee, the other loan agreement amounting toEUR17 million is to beused to partly finance Small and Medium Towns Sanitation Facilities Expansion and Improvement Programs.

Additionally, a EUR30 million loan agreement entered between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Ethiopia has also been discussed. According to the draft bill, the loan targets Women Entrepreneurship Development Programs.