- The Gambia's Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Mousa Bala Gaye, has presented the 2007 budget estimates before deputies in parliament.
The budget was a total departure from the expectation of poverty-ridden Gambians who have been yearning for price hikes of basic commodities to come to an end. The 2007 budget, which will get the approval of the rubberstamping parliament, purely models a tax-based economy in 2007.
Minister Gaye pegged the total estimated revenue at dalasi 3,342,670,000 (euro 91 million) while total expenditure and net lending amounted to dalasi 4,408,343,000 (euro 120 million) thus leaving a deficit of over a billion dalasis (euro 28 million).
According to the Gambian Finance Minister, more than 90 percent of the total estimated revenue would be derived from taxes, implying that the Banjul government is set to increase tax on services and goods in the country.
This equally means prices of goods and services could skyrocket, which adds salt to poverty, whose ratio currently stands at over 69 percents.
The extension of the government's fiscal basis is one of the main advices given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to poor nations as The Gambia. The IMF holds that government need to secure their own revenue basis - mainly by collecting taxes - to be able to implement policies that later on could reduce the poverty they first produce.
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