Tunisia to Borrow 20 Billion Dinars More in 2022

Tunisia to Borrow 20 Billion Dinars More in 2022 . (News Central TV)
Tunisia’s Finance Minister Sihem Boughdiri speaks to reporters during a press conference on the 2022 state budget in the capital Tunis on December 28, 2021.

Tunisia’s 2022 budget on Tuesday indicates that the country will borrow about 20 Billion Dinars extra, as the country seeks to stimulate an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2022 finance law boosts spending by over three percent year on year to 57.3 billion dinars, finance minister Sihem Boughdiri said.

The deficit is expected to hit some 6.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), she told newsmen in a briefing.

The Tunisian government will borrow almost 20 billion dinars to cover 2022 expenditures, bringing government debt to 82.6 percent of GDP.

Around two-thirds of the figure is to come from foreign lenders, and the remainder from domestic sources, Boughdiri said.

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Smattering from post-pandemic, a market in Tunis

Tunisia has suffered years of economic woes worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, with high inflation and unemployment at around 18 percent. Foreign debt in 2021 rose to 100 percent of the GDP.

Boughdiri restated that in order to replenish state coffers, the authorities are also hoping to reach a bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund(IMF).

“Negotiations with the IMF will restart at the beginning of 2022,” Boughdiri said. She also mentioned that 80 experts had formulated “a program of reforms in several sectors.”

A deal with the global lender could entail politically painful reforms, such as cutting subsidies on basic goods or tackling the wage bill of a public sector that employs some 680,000 of the country’s 12 million inhabitants.

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