Cabo Verde’s government to suspend car purchases, new rental contracts in 2021
The economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted Cabo Verde’s government to prepare to cut various public expenditures in 2021, with the planned suspension of purchases of vehicles and new contracts for the renting of property or consulting.
The measures are contained in supporting documents for the draft 2021 state budget bill, the last to be drawn up by the current government, since legislative elections are scheduled to be held by next March. It is to be debate in parliament in the coming days.
Cabo Verde’s public sector budget deficit is expected to swell to 8.8% of gross domestic product next year, due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, after an all-time high of 11.4% this year, according to government forecasts.
For next year’s budget, among measures to keep the deficit in check, the government says that it plans to “suspend public expenditure arising” from activities such as the conclusion of new contracts for the renting of buildings and vehicles.
Also suspended in 2021 is the “contracting of consultancy and renewal of existing contracts”, although “extension is allowed in exceptional cases, duly justified and submitted to the Finance Ministry”, as is the acquisition of property and vehicles if so sanctioned.
There is also provision for the “reduction of the State’s automobile fleet”, with vehicles now to be allocated “only by a sovereign body, members of the Government, inspection and health response services”.
In projecting spending cuts next year the government has set itself the goal of trimming 40% from the level foreseen in this year’s amending budget, approved in August, of “fees, consultancy, studies and other technical assistance”. In addition, it is “seeking to use the existing capacity in public administration, at the level of human resources.”
The contracting by the state of courses, seminars and symposia for the training of public servants that involve “payment of registration, acquisition of air tickets, national and international, and granting of per diems and travel expenses” is also suspended, with remote training now “prioritised”.
However, the government stresses that these cuts “do not apply to public services acting in response to Covid-19”, although such spending is “conditional on the existence of budgetary availability and the financial capacity of the State.”
This article is available in: Português