The government of Sierra Leone has recorded a total of Le698.7 billion shortfall in domestic revenue generation in the 2020 Financial Year.

This was made known by the Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa during his presentation of the 2021 Financial Year Budget with the theme: ‘Economic Recovery for Job Creation and Human Capital Development’ in the Well of Parliament.

The minister maintained that domestic revenue collected from January to September 2020 amounted to Le4.1 trillion which 9.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exceeded the revised target of Le4.0 trillion by Le59 billion.

“Compared to the pre-COVID target of Le4.7 trillion, domestic revenue recorded a shortfall of Le698.7 billion,” Saffa stated.

He explained that of the amount collected, income taxes contributed to Le1.47 trillion; goods and services tax contributed the sum of Le732.6 billion; customs and excise duties of Le905.1 billion; mineral revenue of Le172.7 billion; fisheries royalty of Le69.4 billion; timber royalty of Le187 billion among others.

Minister Saffa confirmed that domestic revenue is projected to reach Le5.37 trillion for the entire financial year of 2020.

He highlighted that support given by the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank and European Union amounted to the tune of Le1.77 trillion noting that debt relief amounted to the sum of Le185.5 trillion, adding that project grant amounted to Le448.5 billion.

“Total expenditure and net lending amounted to Le7.12 trillion during the first three quarters of 2020. It is estimated to amount to Le10.5 trillion which 25.5% of GDP by the end of the year,” he stated.

That recurrent expenditures amounted to Le5.18 trillion for the period of January to September 2020 and are estimated to reach Le6.89 trillion by the end of the year.

He noted that wages and salaries amounted to Le2.42 trillion during the same period and expected to remain within the annual budgetary limit of Le3.3 trillion.