By Adama Tine
While tabling the 2022 Appropriation Bill at the National Assembly on Thursday, the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Mambury Njie revealed that on the fiscal front, The Gambia’s domestic revenue for 2022 is projected to increase to D17.6 billion compared to D13.7 billion estimated in 2021.
According to the Finance minister, the 16 percent increase is equivalent to D4.1 billion. “ Both tax and non-tax revenues are the source of the increase as the country is promoting efficiency of collecting revenue and limiting the revenue loss through the granting of duty waivers,” he added.
The minister further disclosed that the county’s total grants are projected to increase slightly by 2.3 percent from D12.0 billion in 2021 to D12.3 billion in 2022.
The slight increase the minister added, is due to a decline in program grants as support that was received in 2021 for the Covid-19 pandemic would not be forthcoming in the coming year.
“As part of government efforts for fiscal consolidation, total expenditure is expected to increase slightly by less than 2 percent from D31.8 billion in 2021 to D32.2 billion in 2022. This is due to a significant decline in other current expenditure as much of the Covid related health expenditure made in 2021 are not factored in the 2022 budget estimates,” he stated.
The Finance minister further highlighted that with the country having gone past the third wave of Covid-19 outbreak, it is hoped that the rest of the year along with the 2022 fiscal year will significantly improve the economy.
He added that: “As efforts to increase vaccination rates are intensified across the world, travel restrictions are eased and economies returning to normal, it is also hoped that the 2021-2022 tourist season will improve the country’s economy outlook”.
On sectoral growth he said, the agricultural sector is estimated to grow from 4.5 percent in 2021 to 6.3 percent in 2022. “This increase is on account of the largest sub-component of agriculture crops and forestry which are projected to improve growth rates,” he explained.
The industry growth, Minister Njie said, is projected to grow from 9.9 percent in 2021 to 11.1 percent in 2022, adding that apart from a slight decline of less than 1 percent in mining and quarrying, all its other sub-components- manufacturing, electricity, water and construction are projected to register an increase between the two review periods.