By Omar bah
The Gambia government has imposed a travel ban on all public officials, except for “essential statutory meetings” with effect from 1 October to the end of the fiscal year.
A press release issued by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs which became public yesterday stated that the temporary ban was “necessitated by the overall fiscal slippages on travels and to ensure expenses are within the overall travel expenditure ceiling of the 2018 budget as approved by the National Assembly.
“The measure is needed to free up spending for social services such as Education, Health to engender economic growth and microeconomic stability.”
He said the embargo also applies to all non-subvented agencies, state-owned enterprises and Central Bank of the Gambia. This, he said, is part of government’s broader efforts at fiscal consolidation across all levels of government.
“This expanded scope will improve the financial position of all relevant institutions to enable them to pay statutory tax payments and potential dividends to government, where applicable,” he remarked.
The travel ban imposed on public officials follows criticism heaped on the government spending D239 million on travel and per diem from January to July of this year.