National Assembly: MINFI boss presents medium-term economic, budget programming guideline.

Minister Louis Paul Motaze updating finance committee on plan’s guidelines

The Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze, has presented the guidelines of government’s Medium-Term Economic and Budgetary Programming Document for the 2025-2027 to the Finance and Budget Committee of the National Assembly.

He presented the guidelines on Wednesday July 3. The exercise was chaired by the president of the Finance and Budget Committee of the National Assembly Hon Moutymbo Rosette Julienne épse Ayayi.

The finance minister made the presentation on behalf of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute.

In his presentation Minister Motaze said the Medium-Term Economic and Budgetary Programming Document for 2025-2027 is prepared for the Budgetary Orientation Debate prior to the elaboration of the finance bill for the 2025 fiscal year.

He said in the context of a favourable global economic environment, the Cameroonian economy remains positive, despite the slowdown observed in 2023. 

According to the MINFI boss, after its decline from 3.6% to 3.3% between 2022 and 2023, economic growth in Cameroon is expected to accelerate to 4.1% in 2024 and stabilise at 4.4% in 2025 and 2026.

He said inflation accelerated in Cameroon in 2023 where it reached the level of 7.4% due to the rise in food prices and transport costs, following the rise in fuel prices at the filling station. 

“It is expected to remain high in 2024 and then decelerate to 4% in 2025 and return to around the European Union standard of 3% over the 2026-2027 period,” he stated.

He told the committee that the country’s economic outlook remains highly dependent on the good performance envisaged mainly in the agricultural, manufacturing and construction sectors. 

Motaze further explained that government is resolutely committed to reducing the non-oil primary balance from 2.6% in 2023 to 2.0% of Gross Domestic Product, GDP, in 2024 and to maintain the downward trend for the next three years.

In addition, he said the debt stock is expected to remain below the target of 50% of GDP defined in the debt strategy during the 2025-2027 triennium.

In a bid to achieve this, the member of government spelt out that fiscal policy will focus on gradually increasing the level of non-oil domestic revenue from 13.6% of GDP in 2024 to 14.4% in 2027, with intermediate targets of 14.0% of GDP in 2025 and 14.2% in 2026.

 

 

 

Internal taxation

With regard to internal taxation, he said emphasis will be laid on the adoption and implementation of the law on local taxation for optimal financing of decentralization, continuous strengthening of environmental taxation.

The minister also talked of the rationalisation of tax expenditure and measures to optimize the performance of the personal income tax in the category of salaries and wages, enshrined in the 2024 Finance Law.

With regards to border taxation, he emphasized that government is moving towards raising taxes on deforestation products like wood and cocoa, rationalisation of tax expenditure, optimize revenue collection from public contracts execution and hydrocarbons importation. 

Government, he equally said, is also envisages intensifying controls after the removal of goods and related financial flows, as well as the rigorous repression of commercial and customs fraud and strengthening of exchange controls to fight against fraudulent transfers of funds.

 

 

Public investment

With regards to the public investment budget, he elucidated that after an estimated level of 5.1% of GDP in 2024, it is expected to increase significantly by 0.5 points in 2025, to 5.6% of GDP. 

“This expenditure will be increased by 270.8 billion in 2025, that is 17.1% in relative terms. As far as personnel expenditure is concerned, the Government is counting on the massive clearance of the salary debt, with priority given to primary and secondary school teachers and health personnel in accordance with the commitments made by the State to the trade unions,” Minister Motaze explained. 

With the entry into force in 2025 of the Computerised System for Integrated Management of State Personnel and Payroll, SIGIPES 2, the minister noted that the integrated application will revolutionize career and payroll management. 

He also said it will contribute to bettering the control of the wage bill and staff strength, as well as limit the creation of a new salary debt.

 

Industrial sector 

In the industrial sector, he explained that government will continue to implement projects such as the Initial Impulse Programme aimed at triggering the structural transformation of the economy.

Motaze also talked of plans to continue with iron ore mining work in order to provide the metallurgy and steel industries with sufficient raw materials.

Government, he equally stated, also plans to operationalize economic zones and technology parks to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, and rehabilitate and restructuring of  the National Oil Refining Company Limited, SONARA, in view to reducing the volume of imports of white goods.

He also unveiled government’s plans for the social sectors bordering on continuous Universal Health Coverage implementation through its extension to the other seven regions, after the North, the Far North and the East regions.

 

 

This story was first published in The Guardian Post Issue No:3159 of Friday July 5, 2024

 

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