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Ethiopia proposes record budget of nearly $7 billion for 2011/2012

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

June 11, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Ethiopian Council of Ministers on Friday proposed a record of 117.8 billion birr ($6.98 billion) budget for the 2011/2012 fiscal year, mainly aimed at alleviating poverty.

The proposed budget which saw an increase of $1.28 billion from last year, will be presented by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to parliament for final approval next month.

Some 48.8 billion birr of the total budget has been alloted for priority projects such as infrastructure development, education, health and sanitation activities and 23.3 billion for regular expenditures.

Some 31.4 billion birr of the remaining is allotted to support the nine regional states of the country during the fiscal year, between July 8, 2011 and June 23, 2012.

The horn of Africa country, has also allocated 15 billion birr to support and meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The plan was agreed by all 191 UN member states, giving eight development to be achieved by the year 2015, including halving extreme poverty and hunger.

Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, has registered double-digit economic growth for the past few years. Despite souring inflation rates that hit 29.5 percent in April, the country expects the economy to grow by 11.4 percent this year.

According to the Ethiopian council of ministers, the budget was endorsed taking into account the country’s current political, economic situation, inflation and the launch of a 5-year development strategy.

US$ 3.6 billion of the total budget will be sourced from local resources while the balance will be mobilized from external sources in the form of loans and grants.

(ST)