The bill entitled the Appropriation Bill 2018 with the theme “Strengthening Resilience for Inclusive Growth” was tabled in Parliament on Friday 27th October, 2017, by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Lamin Kargbo.

The Minister indicated the economic growth signs for 2018, which he projected at 3.5% excluding Iron Ore and a projected inflation decline from 11% in 2017 to a single digit in 2019.

Capital expenditure for 2018 was projected at Le2.47 trillion, of this domestic capital expenditure projected at Le1.05 trillion, foreign financed expenditure projected at Le1.41 trillion.

The Minister further stated that wages and salaries projected at Le2.7 Trillion, interest payment will amount to Le952 Billion, domestic interest payments will amount to Le854 billion and foreign interest payments Le98 Billion. He maintained that total subsidies and transfers are projected at Le606.9 billion, grants to tertiary education projected at Le206.3 billion, transfer to local councils Le139 billion, Road Maintenance Fund Administration Le128.9 billion, National Electoral Commission for election and democratization Le131billion of which 8billion is foreign contribution.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Lamin Kargbo assured that the budget will seek to raise revenue without introducing any new tax and at the same time not raising tax rate in any category, adding that emphasis would be placed on strengthening tax administration including enforcement and compliance, closing loopholes and reducing duty tax exemptions.

He said domestic revenue is projected at Le4.56 trillion or 13.3% of GDP for 2018 compared to Le3.52 trillion or 12.1% of GDP. He said the total grants expected from their development partners would amount to Le658.3 billion or 1.9% of GDP and of this, the budget support would amount to Le264 billion and project grants would amount to Le386 billion.

Mr. Kargbo further said that the 2018 budget and medium term would seek to make growth more inclusive and sustainable, adding that it would be achieve through sound fiscal framework with room for expanded infrastructure, social spending and structural reforms to encourage private sector participation. He said the projected growth of 5% would be supported by increasing public investment on roads, energy, agriculture, education, health as well as spending on social safety net programme.