Finance ministry to downsize gov’t’s vehicle fleet

//Finance ministry to downsize gov’t’s vehicle fleet

With the implemention of the policy that will take cars from all senior government officials with the exception of ministers and permanent secretaries, the state is expected to save up to D300 millions.

Mustapha K Darboe

The finance minister, Amadou Sanneh, has told lawmakers on Wednesday that the cabinet has finally agreed to implement the controversial “vehicle policy” that will ground several government vehicles and lay off several drivers.

The vehicle policy which should have been implemented months ago after its approval by lawmakers was shelved following complaints from drivers and affected senior government officials.

With the implemention of the policy that will take cars from all senior government officials with the exception of ministers and permanent secretaries, the state is expected to save up to D300 millions.

“There were hosts of challenges but we have now passed that stage and we are going to implement it. The other part of it which is to increase transport allowances for workers from grade 1 to 9 has been implemented,” Sanneh told lawmakers.

“The discussions were on the impact of the policy regarding the laying off of the drivers and also from those who will lose their vehicles… We are implementing it starting in August.”

Gambia currently faces several economic challenges with a huge debt burden at 130% to GDP ratio, falling far behind the regional benchmark for debt to GDP ratio which is at 70%.

Country’s latest revenue collection is estimated at 8.6 billion of which subvention of public institutions stands at D2 billion.

Wages and salaries bill is D2.8 billion with interest payments at D2.3 billion and other charges at D2.8 billion. This sums up to D9.9 billion with a deficit of D1.3 billion.

Meanwhile, interest payments to creditors both local and international consumes 47% of the country’s yearly revenue.

“Reforms such as the vehicle policy and the rationalization of our foreign services are needed,” Sanneh said.

“We are working with the foreign affairs to look into our embassies… We will see if we could put one person at places that are close”

Sanneh also said they are working on selling the state vehicles that are the Government garage in Kotu.

He said he also recently held meetings with creditors at the Paris Club to see how to restructure or waive the country’s debt stock.

Sanneh also announced plans to recalculate the country’s GDP.

“Calculation of the GDP has excluded some sectors and we are now trying to include those. This may affect or increase the GDP up to 40%. And this will knock down the debt to GDP ratio,” Sanneh said.

 

 

 

 

2018-06-28T12:14:57+00:00

One Comment

  1. sc June 27, 2018 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Great article, but there are some missing words in some of the sentences.

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