Togolese Legislators Approve 1 Trillion CFA Franc 2016 Budget

Togo’s Parliament approved a 1 trillion CFA franc ($1.6 billion) budget for next year as the government boosts spending on capital projects and increases public-sector salaries.

The state wage bill will rise 6 percent to 167.8 billion francs and capital expenditure will jump 13 percent to 327.8 billion francs. The 2015 budget, after revisions, was 830 billion francs, the government said in October.

Togolese opposition parties either abstained or voted against the budget plan because it doesn’t support the country’s development goals, said Isabelle Ameganvi, vice president of the main opposition Alliance for Change. Next year’s spending is geared at combating poverty and investing in growing areas of the economy, Christophe Tchao, a spokesman for the ruling party, said in an interview in the capital, Lome, on Wednesday.

Togo is part of a currency union of western and central African states which pegs the CFA franc to the euro. Its economy has been affected by a drought this year which has crimped cereals and cotton production, leading to slower agricultural growth.

The West African government fetched 500 billion francs of revenue in 2015, surpassing a target of 480 billion francs, Finance Minister Adji Otheth Ayassor told reporters on Wednesday. The Togo Revenue Authority started operating at the start of the year to increase collections and crack down on tax cheating, Ayassor said.

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