November 12, 2003

Budget for 2004 shows increase in social and economic sectors / Independence Day

The State's Budget proposal for the year 2004 estimates on its execution a total revenue of the exact sum of 665.347.998 Kwanzas, with an increase of 8.6 % in the social sector and 1.5 in the economic sector.

The proposal was presented by the Government to the National Assembly, and it has to be approved by December 15, so that it can start to be implemented within the first three months of the year 2004. The 2004-State Budget also estimates a 20 % reduction of the inflation and a stable exchange rate as well as the improvement of the citizens' living conditions. There will be a decrease on spending for the Defence sector from 36.6 % to 32 %, and in the Public Administration from 31,3 % to 26 %.

According to the Finance minister, José Pedro de Morais, these changes and the perspectives on the improvement of the quality of expenses are a result of the new environment of stability in the country. Thus, the Government has estimated a reduction of the inflation to 20 % and a growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 13.2 %, this way, representing a commitment in relaunching the country's economy. José Pedro de Morais said that the fact that it was managed to bring down the inflation to 65 %, in the first three months of 2003, shows a positive framework of economic evolution in the country.

Reconstruction also featured prominently in speeches delivered in the context of Angola’s 28th Independence Day celebrations held on November 11. The day was proclaimed in November 1975 by the nation's founder and first President, the late Antonio Agostinho Neto.

The central event of the celebrations 2003 were taking place at Saydi Mingas Square in the centre of Huambo city and was presided over by the Ministry of Territory Administration, Faustino Muteka. "It has been registered innumerable destructions as well as material and human loses. The social tissue has been ripped apart and the moral values have been lost", the Angolan Parliament Speaker, Roberto de Almeida, said, reminding that nothing and none was spared during that phase, including schools, hospitals, bridges, roads, dams, fields for cultivation and people. He furthermore stressed that it was important now to start moving forward again, imbued with new faith and look to the future. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)

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