Reducing Inflation and Unemployment Priorities in New Budget: Finance Ministry

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Addis Ababa June 30/2021 (ENA) The draft budget for the Ethiopian fiscal year 2014 has given priority to reducing inflation and unemployment in line with the country’s 10 Years Perspective Plan, according to Ministry of Finance.

The 2014 draft budget today tabled for discussion among government officials and various sections of the community at a public hearing in House of People’s Representatives today,  Finance State Minister Eyob Tekalign said 60 percent of the total cost of food and food items is the result of inflation and high cost of living.

He noted that like many other countries in the region, Ethiopia’s economy has been hit hard by  COVID- 19 pandemic. 

To tackle the problems expected in the coming budget year, the government has given due attention to fighting inflation and institutions need to use their budgets economically to help the government carry out short and long-term market stabilization and agricultural expansion, the state minister added. 

According to him, subsidy on food grains and commodities is a short-term stabilization of the market.

He explained that irrigation and related agricultural activities will be carried out to increase productivity so that inflation and unemployment could be reduced.

“If we extensively work hard in the agriculture sector, we would fundamentally bring a change,” Eyob stressed.   

He also stated that the procurement system of institutions needs to be looked at and adjusted.

Budget Affairs Advisor at Ministry of Finance, Teferi Demeke said on his part increasing tax revenues and expanding tourism destinations with the involvement of private sector are crucial.

These would enable to enhance local revenues and create jobs for citizens, he added.   

The advisor revealed that huge budget is also allocated for education, health, construction of roads, and urban development.  

The draft budget referred to parliament for approval is 561.7 billion Birr, which is 18 percent more than last year’s budget.