By Staff Reporter
May 26, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The Ethiopian Council of Ministers approved a record-high 470 billion Birr annual budget for the next Ethiopian year starting from July 8, 2020.
The new budget has seen a nearly 17 percent rise compared to the budget allocated to this year. The council referred the new budget bill to the House of Peoples of Representatives for approval.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the nation’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) to three percent from the forecast nine percent during this concluding budget year, the council said in a statement.
According to the statement, the declining growth rate can be even worse if the pandemic continues to prevail.
The increment on the new budget is to cope with the increasing economic crisis that would be caused by the pandemic, it is noted.
The government envisages securing about 20 percent of the total budget from local and external loans amounting to 100 billion. 30 billion of the loans will be secured from local sources while the balance will be secured from external sources.
Meanwhile, a record 61 people tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ethiopia in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of those infected to 494.
According to a statement by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the new cases were identified out of the 3,757 samples tested in the reported period past.
Out of the 61 cases, 43 are male and 18 are female. All the cases are Ethiopian nationals, with the youngest being 15 years old and the oldest 70 years, the statement indicated.
The statement also said 48 of the positive cases are from Addis Ababa, three from Afar, one from Amhara, and seven from Somali and two from Oromia regional states.
Eleven of the cases have travel history from abroad, 7 contacts with confirmed cases, and the remaining 45 have neither travel history nor known contact traces.
Twenty-three people have also recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 151.
Ethiopia’s total test count currently stands at 76,962, with five deaths so far.
In another news, the Ethiopian Somali regional state council has revoked the immunity of its 12 members from prosecution over the alleged plot to step down the state’s deputy president.
The immunity was stripped off in extraordinary meeting as dozens of MPs proposed to dwell on good governance issues as opposed to planned discussion agenda.
"The council stripped off the immunity of 12 members who boycotted and left the meeting hall and created chaos," Mustefa Umer, deputy president of the regional state said.
Abrdurhaman Urate, One of the MPs whose immunity revoked, told the BBC Amharic news that “the council decision was illegal.”
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