Internal Public Debt: Government Partially Clears Bills

FCFA 100 billion has been disbursed to settle debts owed to enterprises and service providers who do business with the State.

E nterprises doing business with the State and other service providers have since January 29, 2020 been receiving payments for debts owed them before 2018. According to a communique published by Finance Minister, Louis Paul Motaze, the FCFA 100 billion disbursed by the State is sequel to instructions from the President of the Republic. The payment as stipulated by the communique, concerns payment of bills of the 2018 financial year and those before then. The move is in line with the progressive clearance of internal public debt which the government started last year. As concerning 2019 financial year, bills amounting to less than FCFA 50 million programmed between 1st October and December 30 are being taken care of by the General Treasury. The FCFA 100 billion disbursement, the MINFI communique adds, is government’s will to pursue the cleaning of public finances and to progressively reduce payment delays to meet up with the 90 days required by CEMAC regulations. The efforts, the government assures, will continue in 2020 thanks to the improvement in the quality of spending, reinforced budgetary discipline and a better management of the State treasury. By partially settling internal public debts, the government is taking its responsibility as a good client so as to enable these enterprises stay in business and continue to carryout State procurement for the betterment of the economy. The move, it should be noted, is coming after a similar ones last year during which FCFA 759 billion were paid to enterprises and service providers by the State. Cameroon’s internal public debt was evaluated at FCFA 1300 billion last year and the government had taken engagements to progressively clear its debts. The recent disbursement of FCFA 100 billion is testimony of government’s commitment and keeping to its words to progressively clear her invoices. For 2020, the Finance Law has made provisions for the payment of FCFA 540 billion within the course of the year. Already, the operation has started with FCFA 100 billion as the execution of the 2020 budget has just commensed. However, more of such moves are expected in the course of the year especially as some of the internal public debts are said to be overdue thus putting small and medium-sized enterprises doing business with the State in difficult financial situations.

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