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National Assembly: Four bills passed by the CAEF

Moussa Sanogo, Minister of Budget and State Owned Entities, presented on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022, four Acts at the National Assembly that were adopted after a lengthy debate with the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee (EFAC), namely: The Act on the ratification of the decree instituting parafiscal taxes on specific construction materials for the benefit of social housing; the Act on the Customs Code, the Act on the ratification of the decree on customs duty exemption on wheat imports as part of the fight against the high cost of living; and the Act on the 2022 rectifying the Finance Law were examined one after the other.

The Minister was pleased with the adoption of these important acts that ratify social measures that the government had to take to mitigate the pace of price increases, in the face of significant hazards of the difficult situation at the global level on the national economy. "It is linked to this a collective budget to take into account the major upheavals that weigh on our economy and I am pleased to know that the deputies have validated the idea of supporting the most fragile segments of our populations," said Moussa Sanogo at the end of the working session.

The first bill institutes parafiscal taxes on three types of construction materials, namely cement, concrete iron and marble, with the resources obtained to be exclusively dedicated to the financing of social housing policy, mainly concerning the purging of customary rights, primary VRDs, and the guaranteeing of credits to buyers and promoters. Adopted with 22 votes in favor, 11 against and 3 abstentions, thus with a majority of EFAC members present, this bill will, according to the Minister, "raise production capacity to the level of the objective of a minimum of 30,000 housing units per year.

Mr. Bruno Koné, Minister of Construction, Housing and Urbanization, who took part in the discussions, said that these parafiscal taxes will help increase the supply of rental housing, which in turns, will lower the price of housing in Abidjan and in urban areas in general. Of the 150,000 housing units targeted by the presidential program for the period 2021-2025, only 30,000 units have been built, due to the low level of resource mobilization by the State for the purging of customary rights and the construction of primary roads and utilities, which require funding of nearly CFAF 1,700 billion, or nearly 20% of the State budget for the year 2021.

As far as the 2022 rectifying finance act is concerned, considering the evolution of the budgetary credits during execution, it was adopted by a clear majority of 21 to 13. Minister Moussa Sanogo announced an overall increase in the State budget for fiscal year 2022 which reaches 10,734.5 billion CFA francs against 9,901.1 billion CFA francs initially planned, which corresponds to an increase of 833.5 billion CFA francs corresponding to a progression of 8.41%. This increase is justified, among other things, by the support provided to sectors in trouble due to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis (fuel, wheat imports, etc.), the strengthening of security spending in view of the persistent jihadist threat, the strengthening of investments in the areas of health and sport, the strengthening of drinking water supply in the context of the organization of the 2023 African Cup of Nations and sanitation in the city of Abidjan. The budget deficit is expected to increase from an initial forecast of 4.7% of GDP to 6% of GDP.


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