House refers budget speech to budget Standing Committee

  • Affirms regulation for re-establishment of Audit Corporation

(Parliament News): June 15, 2021; Addis Ababa: The 15th regular session of the House of Peoples’ Representatives unanimously referred the budget speech for the annual 2021/2022 national budget of Ethiopia, elucidated by His Excellence Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of the FDRE; to the Revenue, Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee, today.

The House did so after holding serious deliberation on the topic with the Minister. MPs generally appreciated this year’s budget allocation which exceeds the last one in 18 percent. Despite their appreciation, they expressed their suspicions and anxieties through multitude of questions and opinions as well as suggestions that they forwarded.

“What optional plans are there if the planned amount of loan and grant money can’t be obtained from charity organizations, donors, wealthy countries or int’l financial institutions? What tangible measure will be taken by the govt to mitigate inflation problem affecting everyone in-general and people generating low incomes in-particular? How to control and minimize the money laundering? Are the domestic banks immune from the money laundering? What stricter mechanisms are devised to take control of the program budget? Etc...”

The Minister, as is aforementioned, reacted to all the points delivered from the MPs as per his speech. In his speech, he elaborated detailed economic considerations and focus areas of the budget allocation to the House. As to him, the broad money circulation increased in 17 percent in the last fiscal year that resulted in 42 point 6 percent of savings in banks. In addition, he said; the govt is preparing a comprehensive remittance strategy to enhance the income of govt from forex.

“The process of privatizing public enterprises is being undertaken appropriately. For instance, the pair of two int’l companies named ‘Global Partnership for Ethiopia’ has made an agreement to overtake 40 percent of the Ethio-Telecom. Likewise, the privatization of national sugar companies is also undergoing to support the overall financial capacity of the country. In-general, the framework for investment protection and arbitration is on the way” the Minister explained.

According to Ato Ahmed, Ethiopia has made three major economic considerations for the next fiscal year. The country is predicted to register 8 point 7 percent real GDP growth. The current double-digit inflation will be diminished to single-digit in a consolidated effort of all the concerned bodies. And finally, the value of the import goods will increase in 9 point 9 percent.

His Excellence Ahmed Shide brought to the table all the details of the focus areas of the national budget allocation during the deliberation. Accordingly, the 561 point 7 billion Ethiopian Birr is the overall amount of the generalized sum of the detailed allocations of the upcoming budget of the nation.

The Minister also replied to the questions raised by the MPs during his presentation. He said; Ethiopia has long standing development partners whom, it has strong bi-lateral and multi-lateral relations. He indicated, Ethiopia played the founding role in establishing some of the regional, continental and int’l development partners and therefore, let alone the MPs, nobody else should worry about the financial flow from the partner bodies. It’s doing so and will continue to do so, the govt believes; he pointed.

Enhancing production and productivity is, as to the Minister; the major means of tackling the challenging inflation besides the other remedies. The economic imbalance shall get lowered among regions of the country and citizens in such a way that they can withstand most of the inflation-related problems, he remarked.

Regarding the illicit financial circulation, this fiscal year, tremendous operations conducted successfully, Ahmed recalled. Hundreds of thousands of laundered money have been in control due to the consolidated efforts of law-enforcement and the rest of the society, he explained. In order to minimize the undesired effects in some war-conflict hit regions of the nation, the new budget has considered mitigating measurements, the Minister said.

On the other hand, the House affirmed the regulation No. 11/2013 for re-establishment of the Audit Corporation unanimously. The case was referred to the Public Accounts Affairs Standing Committee before a year for inspection. The other proclamation entitled: Single Audit Draft proclamation to Avoid External Audit Frequency scrutinized by the same Committee passed unanimously as proclamation No. 1251/2013.

The regular session of the House also ratified the minutes of the previous regular session without any nays or abstains. The legislature procedure of deliberative assembly was kicked-off after the Speaker; honourable Tagesse chaffo ascertained that the quorum is sufficient enough to conduct the business of the day.   

By Asrat Addisu