Public finance from the late 1970s to the 1990s was characterized by uncontrolled spending, poor tax collection, and large deficits, often covered by creating new money. Expenditures are almost entirely current. The state-owned copper mining company typically generates one-third of the government's revenue. In 2001, the government, under Joseph Kabila, undertook a program of economic reform to reverse the economy's steep decline. The program worked, reducing the inflation rate from over 500% in 2000 to about 10% by the end of 2001. In June 2002, the IMF and the World Bank approved new credits for the DROC for the first time in more than a decade.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2000 Congo's central government took in revenues of approximately $269 million and had expenditures of $244 million including capital expenditures of $24 million. Overall, the government registered a surplus of approximately $25 million. External debt totaled $12.9 billion.
The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.
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