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Somali cabinet approves $216m budget for 2016

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Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke. PHOTO | FILE 

By Abdulkadir Khalif

Posted  Friday, October 30   2015 at  15:33

The cabinet of the federal government of Somalia approved Thursday a $216 million budget for 2016.

Finance minister Mohamed Adan Fargeti told a Cabinet meeting that his ministry expected to generate 64 per cent of the budget from local revenues. The rest was envisaged to come from foreign donors.

"The ministry of finance will strive to make as much revenue as possible,” Mr Fargeti told fellow ministers at the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke.

“If the revenue exceeds our expectations, the ministry will review the budget and adjust accordingly to increase disbursements to the ministries.”

The minister pledged transparency in the process, saying: "The more transparent our budget is, the better Somalia’s chances of getting debt relief from the international donors [will be]."

After decades of civil war and lawlessness, tax collection in Somalia is still at a rudimentary stage. However, the $216 million budget will only be applicable if it is approved by the federal parliament.

Since the collapse of the central government in Somalia in January 1991, the budgets of the regional authorities such as Somaliland, Puntland, and the more recently formed states of Jubaland, Southwest and Galmudug, have been separate from the federal government's.

Efforts to amalgamate the various budgets and tax systems have not generated harmony.

-AFRICA REVIEW