Close-up of a Calculator and Pen on a Financial Newspaper. Blue-toned.

A draft budget bill approved by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers on Saturday showed a 3.6-percent increase for the next 2018-2019 Ethiopian fiscal year.

The bill, now tabled to the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) for approval, provides 346.9 billion ETB (close to 12.56 billion U.S. dollars) budget for the coming fiscal year, up from 320.8 billion ETB for the current 2017-2018 fiscal year, state television Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) reported.

The bill is expected to fulfill the regional governments’ necessary requirements as well as for the federal government’s effective implementation of the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) of Ethiopia, due effective from 2015 to 2020.

The Ethiopian government’s priority areas during the GTP II include infrastructure, education, agriculture, water, and health constitutes 61 percent of the total budget allocation, according to Ethiopia’s finance ministry.

Despite a 3.6-percent increase, the next year’s budget has registered a decrease as compared with the current fiscal year’s budget in terms of its value due to the Ethiopian National Bank’s decision to devalue the Ethiopian birr (ETB) by 15 percent as of October last year.

The bill will be scrutinized by the HoPR’s, the Ethiopian parliament’s lower house, Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee before tabled to the parliament for approval. Enditem

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