Parliament approves $13.4 billion 2019/20 budget
The Ethiopian Parliament approved a $13.4 billion budget proposed by the Council of Ministers for the 2019/20 fiscal year that began on 8th July.
$3.79 billion will fund the operating budget, $4.53 billion will be for capital expenditure and $4.876 billion for subsidies to regional states. Another $207.95 million will be used to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) projects.
Compared to the $12.02 billion approved for the 2018/19 fiscal year, this year’s budget is 12% higher. The government says it will increase investments in key sectors such as agriculture, energy and mining. It also plans to attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Responding to questions raised by members of the parliament on the allocation of the budget, Prime Minister Abiy said the government has put aside a budget for labour-intensive agricultural, industry, mining and other related mega projects to create more employment opportunities for the youth.
He added that the government would prioritise reducing inflation through modernising the logistics system and taking measures against artificial price hikes.
The PM also stressed the need to use local knowledge and address Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) barriers.
The PM said the country’s foreign exchange reserve has increased by $1 billion compared to the preceding year.
…three million jobs to be created
Prime Minister Abiy also announced plans to create three million jobs and send professionals to the Middle East and Europe to receive training.
“Ethiopia is planning short-term measures to reduce unemployment in Ethiopia and to cope with the increasing job demands…such as sending our skilled labour to foreign countries,” Prime Minister Abiy told parliament.
Under the deal, 50,000 workers will be sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, and discussions were being held to send 200,000 over the next three years.
The workers would receive training in various sectors, including driving and nursing, earn higher wages and “boost their capacity”, the Prime Minister said.
Discussions are underway about similar agreements with Japan and European nations, he said, adding that the economy would be aided by a young skilled workforce that was trained abroad.
In related news, the Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation announced that it has created permanent employment for more than 50,000 people over the past 11 months. More than 30,000 temporary employment opportunities were also created.
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