Ethiopia MPs Discuss Loan Deals worth $250mln, Proposed Additional Budget

ADDIS ABABA – Members of Ethiopian parliament have started to look into three loan agreements that the government signed with Saudi Arabia and South Korea as well as a proposed additional budget for the current fiscal year.

The MPs resumed the house’s regular session on Tuesday after the last recess of their five-year parliamentary term.

The lawmakers started their session by deliberating on three bills of loan deals worth 250 million US dollars in total.

They first looked into a 64.9 million US dollar credit agreement with the Saudi Arabian government.

The fund is expected to finance the implementation of the second phase water supply, sanitation and hygiene program.

The other two deals Members of parliament have deliberated on are 86 million and 74.9 million US dollar loan agreements with Korea Exim Bank and Saudi Government to finance, respectively.

These deals too will finance the establishment of a center of excellence in Adama University, and Debremarcos-Mota road rehabilitation and upgrade project.

The lawmakers, after a brief deliberation on the three loan agreements, sent the bills to the Revenue, Budget and Finance Affairs Standing committee of the parliament for further hearing.

– Supplementary budget –

During the same session, the parliament also discussed 27.89 billion birr or 877 million US dollars additional budget for the current 2019/20 Ethiopian fiscal year.

The additional budget would help the government to overcome the current economic challenges and support the ongoing reform.

It is expected to add to the 387 billion birr of government budget that the parliament approved in July 2019.

The government has taken the recent excise tax improvement and various economic reforms into consideration while formulating the extra budget, Mesfin Cherinet, Government whip, told MPs while presenting the draft document of the budget supplementary.

The increase in tax revenue this year will fund the budget, he added.

The government expects to collect 7.95 billion US dollars tax revenue this budget year- surpassing its initial target by at least 600 million US dollars.

By Sisay Sahlu