Ethiopian budget approved, defense spending remains unchanged

Ethiopian budget approved, defense spending remains unchanged
Fri Jul 5,10:44 AM ET

By ABEBE ANDUALEM, Associated Press Writer

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Ethiopia's parliament has approved a dlrs 2 billion budget for the 2002-2003 fiscal year, increasing spending on health and social services and leaving defense spending unchanged.



The budget marks a 14 percent increase in spending over last year. Parliament approved the 17.2 billion birr budget Thursday afternoon, but it was not released to the media until Friday.

The government plans to spend 3 billion birr (dlrs 350 million) on defense, the same as last year. About 1.2 billion birr (dlrs 140 million) was set aside for education, health and other social services. The total budget for all social services was 334 million birr (dlrs 40 million) last year.

Nearly 3.9 billion birr (dlrs 456 million) has been earmarked for capital expenditures and 1.9 billion birr (dlrs 221 million) to service the country's dlrs 5.5 billion external debt.

The government expects revenues of 10.5 million birr (dlrs 1.2 billion), covering 61 percent of the total budget from taxes, customs duties, export taxes and dividends from state enterprises.

The government expects to cover the 6.7 billion birr (dlrs 783 million) deficit with grants, loans and technical assistance by multilateral and region financial institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank and bilateral aid.