State House, Banjul, 12th April 2022:
Cabinet has commissioned an eight-member Economic Taskforce to look into the recent rise in fuel and commodity prices and the implication of the Russia-Ukraine war on all sectors of the economy. The Taskforce is assigned to develop a diagnostic analysis of the current situation of the economy and recommend measures to mitigate the impact of the conflict on the living conditions of people in The Gambia.
The Taskforce consists of members from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Accountant General Department, Gambia Revenue Authority, Gambia Public Procurement Authority, Central Bank of The Gambia, Ministry of Trade Regional Integration and Employment, Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency and Ministry of Agriculture. The Taskforce is expected to present a report in two weeks.
Cost Control Circular
In another development, the Secretary-General and Head of the Civil Service, Mr Noah Touray, dispatched a circular to inform all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, of immediatemeasures to mitigate the impact of current global economic uncertainties.
The circular states the causal factors for the economic challenges as the COVID 19 pandemic and the Ukraine war. The effects have manifested in a reduction in economic activity, revenue generation and the surge in the price of fuel and other commodities. The Government has taken fiscal and austerity measures to ensure its continued functioning by reducing spending on overseas travel, fuel and lubricants, and telecommunications allowances. The Government will revise and administer spending with immediate effect and until further notice. It has suspended overseas travels except for statutory meetings of the UN, ECOWAS, AU, World Bank, IMF, AfDB, IsDB or where the organisers will fully pay the cost of participation in such overseas events.
The measures also include paying half per diem for the missions where the Government will provide accommodation.
In telecommunications, Government provision of postpaid mobile telephones for public officials will be limited to senior officials and relevant security functionaries with limits. The circular has directed Vote Controllers to ensure strict compliance in this regard.
Furthermore, it stresses that Ministries, Departments and Agencies must keep expenditure on fuel and lubricants to the barest minimum. The Government has reduced all monthly fuel allocation to eligible officials by 20%.
These measures will be in place pending improvements in the economic landscape when the Government reviews them. The circular ends by soliciting the understanding and cooperation of all as the country strive to grow a strong economy.
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