Somali Minister of Finance presents Budget to Parliament‏

Asad Cabdullahi MataanBy Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

His Excellency Minister of Finance, Hussein Abdi Halane, presented Somalia’s Budget for 2014-2015 to Parliament, setting out how the government will take further action to secure Somalia’s future – re-building the economy and social services.

The Budget total sees a 91% increase from the 2013 Budget of $114.3 million to a total of $218 million for 2014-2015.

The government is taking decisions that will enable and support Somali people to educate their children and care for their families through increased spending on education and health. The Budget begins the job of rebuilding our economy – laying the foundations for sustainable long-term economic growth and job creation throughout Somalia.

Only 11 months ago the government used to raise a mere $2.2 million in tax income per month, the total raised through local taxes is projected to increase to $130m in this year’s Budget. The remaining $88m comes through donor projects on health, education, infrastructure and economic development.

This Budget also sets out a comprehensive fiscal system, ensuring everyone contribute fairly to society and a critical step towards eventual economic independence.

The Prime Minister, said: “The Budget for 2014 sees a significant increase in the total budget. All of Somalia will benefit from increased government spending on security, justice, education and health.

“The Government of Somalia is committed to the continuing reform of our financial institutions and tax systems to increase the income of the state. It is crucial that the government can raise its own revenue to be able to continue to improve security and roll out improved social services across Somalia. Up until now the state’s revenue has relied almost solely on customs collection from Mogadishu airport and port, we must broaden and in many cases introduce new taxes on sectors of our economy. The Ministry of Finance has proposed a number of reforms to our tax system to ensure businesses contribute their fair share to society and the rebuilding of our country.

“The target for the next year is to raise enough revenue to vastly improve the capacity of the government to deliver for its own people and eventually become self-sufficient. The future prosperity of Somalia is directly linked to peace and stability and we must continue to work to create an environment which is attractive to investors and businesses which will benefit all Somali people.”