TOTAL TONGA GOVERNMENT BUDGET ANNOUNCED

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (June 13, 2000 – Radio Tonga)---The total government expenditure for Fiscal Year 2000/2001, both cash and in-kind, is about 126,970,000 million Pa'anga (US$ 74,912,974). According to the Budget Statement of the Minister of Finance, total cash expenditure will be about 108.5-million Pa‘anga (US$ 64,015,576) while the total in-kind expenditure totals about 18.4-million Pa‘anga (US$ 10,856,098).

The sources of cash funding will be 80 percent from government's general revenue, 8 percent each from overseas development assistance and from the government's revolving fund, 2 percent from the Tonga Trust Fund and contributions from the local community. The loan disbursement from the Asian Development Bank is equivalent to 2 percent.

The current revenue for the new financial year is about 70.78 million Pa‘anga (US$ 41,760,576). About 75 percent of the current revenue or 52.8 million Pa‘anga (US$ 31,152,280) will be received from taxes, while the rest is non-tax revenue.

Of the tax revenue, 66 percent will be collected from custom duties and port and services taxes, with income tax accounting for 19 percent.

Most of the non-tax revenue involves administrative fees, charges and entrepreneurial and property income.

Total cash grants and other sources of funding are estimated to total almost 19 million Pa‘anga (US$ 11,210,101). Forty-four percent is projected to come from foreign aid, 47 percent from the revolving fund, 7 percent from the Tonga Trust Fund and 2percent from the local community.

The overall total recurrent revenue and recurrent expenditure for the next financial year is 87.74 million Pa‘anga (US$ 51,767,066) and 87.23 million Pa‘anga (US$ 51,466,163) respectively, leaving a balance of 510,000 Pa‘anga (300,903).

According to the Budget statement, this new budget sets the direction for Tonga's future economic and social development. And to achieve these goals, cooperation is required to overcome the various challenges that lie ahead.

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