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Ethiopian lawmakers approve $9 billion state budget

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 7, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia’s House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) has unanimously approved 178.5 billion birr (around $9.1 billion) for the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget.

The new budget saw a 15.3% increase on the previous year’s budget sum, with 112 billion birr ($5.6 billion) of the total allocated to regular and capital spending.

Some 51.5 billion birr ($2.6 billion) has been earmarked to subsidise regional governments, an increase by around 8.5 billion birr from the previous year.

Of the total budget, the federal government will retain 62.5%, while the remainder will go to the nine regional states and to the two city administrations of Addis Ababa and Diredawa.

State minister for finance and economic development Sufian Ahmed said budget revenue will be secured from domestic financial resources, as well as foreign loans and aid.

“To cover the biggest budget allotted for capital expenditure, the government has plans to collect 43 billion birr ($2.1 billion) from domestic revenue, 12.1 billion birr from foreign loans and aid, and the rest will be covered from government treasury,” he said.

Some 15 billion birr has also been earmarked to support the country’s efforts in meeting the United Nations millennium development goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The new budget was approved following deliberations by MPs which saw the proposed state budget referred to the Budgetary and Finance Affairs Standing Committee.

The budget deficit currently stands at 1.8 per cent, but the committee says this is not expected to cause inflationary pressure.

(ST)

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