Gambia could lose an estimated one billion dalasi in revenue due to the coronavirus economic shutdown, the country’s Finance Minister said. 

Mambury Njie told lawmakers, before the shutdown of parliament last week, that the economic impact of coronavirus on the country’s trade and supply change could also result in a budget financing gap of about 2.5 billion dalasi.

The decline in economic growth is estimated to be emanated from trade, remittances, construction, tourism and the leisure industry (hotels and restaurants).”

“In terms of revenue performance, it is estimated that close to one billion dalasi will be lost in revenue for the year (equivalent to one month of GRA revenue collection in 2020)”.

Mr Njie, who also presented a report on the coronavirus economic impact assessment analysis, said the country’s economic growth in 2020 will be 3 percent lower than the forecast of 6.3 percent at the beginning of the year.

“The budget deficit is expected to widen from 1.5 to 2.1 GDP with the impact of COVID-19.” 

The Finance minister pointed out that due to closure of factories in China, Europe and Middle East, domestic supply for basic commodities would also experience short term scarcity and the risks of price hikes.

He added that expenditure control and planning will provide a suitable mechanism to lessen the the country’s economic impact. 

Meanwhile the Health minister yesterday confirmed the first coronavirus death in the country. The deceased was a 70-year-old Bangladeshi preacher who entered the country on March 13 from Senegal. 

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