Where is the public debt audit report (2/2)? – Tunisia

The President of the Republic, Kais Saied, brought up the file of loans and grants obtained by the Tunisian state over the past ten years, after he revealed the main lines of the results of the full audit mission that he ordered in this capacity. However, there are several calls to publish the report of the said audit mission, which is not currently found on the official websites, in order to hold all parties that have links to this file accountable away from any political exploitation.

However, it should be noted that any embezzlement of external financing is almost impossible given the legal arsenal stipulated at the level of the Public Accounting Act and the criteria for allocating each loan and donation to accounts designated for the public treasury. Especially since the release of external financing does not correspond to physical payments of funds but includes accounting restrictions between banks and financial institutions without any human intervention or manipulation.

It is also worth noting that according to the state budget implementation bulletins for the period 2011-May 2022 published on the Ministry of Finance website, external financing flows amounted to approximately 70 billion dinars, mainly distributed among 62 billion dinars from abroad. Loans and donations of about 4 billion dinars.

Still, according to the official publications of the Ministry, and without taking into account the values ​​of tax and non-tax resources and the budget deficit, loans (external and internal) and donations have already been used to cover reward expenses in particular, amounting to 155 billion dinars. And administration expenses 15 billion dinars and intervention expenses (cash transfers and subsidies) up to 81 billion dinars, in addition to servicing the external debt (origin and interest) compared to 45 billion dinars.

In addition, informed sources recently quoted data related to the external finance audit report and confirmed that it was prepared by the Public Financial Supervision Committee. In all, 325 external credits and 113 scholarships awarded by different backers and donors were inventoried.

13% of the loans were not used for reasons mainly related to blocking projects. However, it should be noted that with reference to the publications in the JORT, the number of above-mentioned Appropriations and Donations appears to be low given the frantic pace of their approval by Parliament over the past decade.

It is also important to note that the fact that raising the misappropriation of external funding amounts to the fact that the monitoring mechanisms of the granting of such funds are questioned by donors who have a full set of standards and charters that prevent such practices that, moreover. , is ancient history.

In short, Tunisia will in any case continue to obtain and pay off its external debt and has no interest in declaring it an abhorrent debt because in such a scenario it is very likely that it will not benefit more from international financing programs.

For the record, according to the data of the state’s general budget for the year 2022, the value of the Tunisian public debt at the end of next December will reach 114 billion dinars, compared to 108 billion dinars as of December 31, 2021, an increase. Of more than 6 billion dinars, knowing that the total Tunisian debt has moved from an average of 35% of GDP in 2010 to more than 100% in 2021.

According to the same data, public debt will represent 82.6% of GDP by the end of 2022, compared to 85.6% in the Supplementary Finance Act of 2021.

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