October 31, 2003

Government to reduce direct interference in economy/General state budget for 2004 approved

Angolan Government intends to reduce more and more of the State's direct interference with the economy and will instead reinforce its regulating role. Addressing the opening of the fourth meeting of the ministers of labour and social affairs of the Portuguese Speaking Community (CPLP), Prime Minister Dias dos Santos said that this would be part of the Government's effort to increase wealth and fight unemployment, famine, poverty and promote local businesses. "Our Government continues to be committed to an economy based on national production and promotion of national businesses. In this conformity, we will continue working to incentive farming production and increase fish catches in order to permit the resolution of the problems of famine and of unemployment facing our population," he stated.

In the meantime, the Council of Ministers approved the State Budget for 2004 which predicts a GDP growth of 13.2%. This budget, as states a communiqué from the meeting, predicts fiscal revenues of 469,356 million kwanza and fiscal expenditures of 523,139.6 million and a budgetary deficit of 4.20 per cent of the GDP, in addition to a 20 per cent accumulated inflation limit.

In order to finance the deficit, the Government foresees resorting to internal loans, the sale of assets and availability of cash, donations, oil bonuses and external loans. The budget allocates 33% of its global amount to the social sector, 33% to the defence and the national police, 26% are intended for the public administration and 9% for the public entrepreneurial sector. The document also shows that the Government has authorized the Finance Ministry to formalize Angola's acceptance of the IV Amendment of the Constitutive Agreement of the International Monetary Fund. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)

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