December 23, 2014 / 3:35 PM / 5 years ago

Burundi budget to rise 6.4 percent in 2015 to fund growth

BUJUMBURA, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Aid-dependent Burundi aims to increase its budget by 6.4 percent in 2015, with more money set to go towards agriculture, energy and infrastructure projects.

The landlocked East African country of nearly 10 million people projects its economy will grow by 5.4 percent in 2015 against an estimated 4.8 percent in 2014, largely thanks to big infrastructure projects. The International Monetary Fund last week projected growth of 4.7 percent next year.

Just under half of Burundi’s planned 1.5 trillion franc ($970 million) budget for 2015 will be funded by international donors, according to a plan approved by parliament on Monday.

The government expects to receive grants worth 679.8 billion francs, down from 707.8 billion francs it received this year.

The budget predicts domestic tax revenues will rise to 714.3 billion francs in 2015 from 649.2 billion francs this year, though it said the estimate depends on the success of efforts to fight corruption, tax evasion and other factors.

Budget estimates project a 13.8 percent deficit in GDP terms in 2015.

During its visit to Burundi last week, the IMF mission encouraged the authorities to maintain budgetary discipline in the run-up to the 2015 general elections and allow the exchange rate to respond to underlying economic conditions, including the recent appreciation of the U.S. dollar. ($1 = 1,545 Burundi francs) (Reporting by Patrick Nduwimana; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Hugh Lawson)

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