As expected, Cameroon’s Head of State, Paul Biya, signed an ordinance amending the 2020 Finance Law on June 3, 2020. This supplementary budget act reduced the initial budget by 11% or XAF542.7 billion in absolute terms.
According to the Presidential ordinance of June 3, 2020, which will be submitted to and probably adopted by Parliament during the ordinary session which opens on 10 June, the State’s 2020 budget falls from XAF4,951.7 billion to XAF4,409 billion.
Apart from this drastic reduction of the previous budget, the other major fact of this amended budget -following the coronavirus pandemic that is raging throughout the world- is the creation of a special trust fund called “Fonds spécial de solidarité nationale pour la lutte contre le coronavirus et ses répercussions économiques et sociales” (Special National Solidarity Fund for the fight against the coronavirus and its economic and social repercussions).
According to official sources, this Fund, financed by contributions from development partners as well as individuals and companies, will be endowed with CFAF180 billion for the second half of 2020.
In addition to taking care of Covid-19 patients and strengthening the health system (CFAF 58.7 billion), strengthening research and local production of pharmaceutical products (CFAF 8.1 billion), this Fund will dedicate CFAF 98.7 billion to economic and financial resilience actions, and CFAF 14.5 billion to social resilience.
According to internal sources at the Ministry of Finance, the last two budgeted funds mentioned above relate to the various support measures already taken or to be taken by the government to support Cameroonian enterprises and households in the face of the ravages caused by the pandemic.
The third major fact in the amended budget of June 3, 2020, is that all the initial allocations of public administrations have been revised downwards. The administrations concerned include the Presidency of the Republic, whose envelope has been cut by about CFAF15 billion, according to a credible source. Only three institutions escaped these budget cuts. They are the National Assembly, the Senate, and Elections Cameroon, the body in charge of organizing elections. The latter is actively preparing the first regional elections in the history of Cameroon. These elections are scheduled for October 2020.
Culled from Business in Cameroon