Sierra Leone 2021 Approved Budget Analysis

The 2021 Sierra Leone Budget focuses on stimulating economic recovery to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through direct support to industries and sectors most affected by the virus. The Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL) plans to implement its Medium-Term National Development Plan to provide job opportunities and implement poverty alleviation programs for the citizens.

Overall, the FY2021 budget is expected to decrease inflation- the general prices of goods and services, from 17.5% in 2020 to 13.5% in 2021. To achieve its plan for economic stability, the GOSL plans to attain a stable currency exchange rate at 1 USD to Le 10,791 by closely monitoring the market forces, increasing revenue collection, and cutting back on spending. The monetary policy is expected to complement the fiscal policy goals and ensure financial stability in the country.

The GOSL plans to increase tax revenue by implementing new tax policy measures to prevent tax avoidance and using an electronic platform to enhance tax collection. In addition, the government plans to block leakages in recurrent expenditure by improving the integrity and sustainability of the Government payroll. FY2021 the GOSL will explore automatic payroll systems, verify the life certificates of public servants and engage external auditors, among other measures. The macroeconomics FY2021 are quite ambitious as the market value of all goods and services produced in the country (GDP) is projected to grow by 3.3%, exports at a projection rate of 15.8%, and imports at 5.5%.

FY 2021, the GOSL has brilliant plans to increase its debt sustainability through 4 key debt management policies 1) continuous seeking grant financing, 2) continuous exploring public-private partnerships, 3) limiting domestic borrowing and establishing debt management fund 4) paying outstanding arrears.

Overall, the FY2021 looks promising for the citizens as it plans to provide amenities and focus on job creation. However, Citizens must ensure that the government follows through with its spending plan by demanding transparency and accountability in the national budget. Noting that many other factors pose a threat to the budget implementation plans, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inability to secure loans to meet the budget deficit, among other factors.

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