João Lourenço's message was read this Tuesday by the Minister of State for Economic Coordination, Manuel Nunes Júnior, at the opening of the debate on the revised General State Budget (OGE) for 2020, which will be voted on in general.
“We expect to resume the trajectory of budgetary surpluses, that is, positive budgetary balances, in 2021”, highlighted the head of state, stressing that this situation “is of enormous importance”, as it means that the country will have less needs for indebtedness and avoids reaching a situation of unsustainability of its public debt.
João Lourenço recalled that the country has had successive budget deficits since 2014, which has driven the public debt ratio from about 30 percent in 2013 to approximately 113 percent in 2019.
In 2018, Angola recorded a positive budget balance of 2.1 percent of GDP for the first time in four years. In 2019, the balance was 0.8 percent and a 1.2 percent 'surplus' was also forecast for 2020, a trajectory "unfortunately" interrupted as a result of the economic and financial crisis that the country is experiencing.
The President justified the need to review the OGE with the crisis created by the covid-19 pandemic, which had a strong impact on the fall in oil prices. So far, Angola has registered 525 infected and 26 dead.
The price of oil, a raw material that represents more than 60 percent of Angola's tax revenues and more than 90 percent of its export earnings, was revised from 55 to 33 dollars per barrel in the OGE proposal now presented.
In addition to systematic deficits, Angola has been in an economic recession for the past four years, mainly due to the negative performance of the oil sector and forecasts a negative growth rate of 3.6 percent this year.
João Lourenço stressed that, despite the review, the executive continues to make a “great effort to protect the social sector”, with emphasis on education and health, which will have their spending shares increased in the revised OGE.
The executive also intends to continue “to increase domestic production” of the 54 products defined under PRODESI (Program to Support Production, Export Diversification and Import Substitution) and will give “very special attention” to the Integrated Agriculture Acceleration Plan and Family fishing.
The Integrated Program for Intervention in Municipalities will also continue to be implemented, with resources available in the OGE review.
João Lourenço's message ends with an appeal to the deputies to make “a deep analysis” of the proposal so that it can be improved.