A recent study shows that 8,7 million euros shortfall are recognized as an expense the annual Tunisian State budget. How did the informal economy get to come to this outcome?
If informal economy represents a shortfall to the State, it is a way to survive for many citizens in Tunisia. As precarity rates due to different waves of inflations, the informal street sellers dramatically grew up.
The phenomenon would target the women first. After the CAWTAR (Centre for Arab Women for training and research), 45% of the female labour were working into the grey economy. It is hard though to estimate the weight of the grey economy into the GDP.
Given experts from the international institutions, 20% of shadow economy into the GDP is not a big deal. In difficult period of time, this even allows the economy to recover for a short while as well as giving citizen means of subsistence.
But in Tunisia, the level of the grey economy would have reached 54% of the GDP raising serious questions on the State budget. Since 2011, these are not only illegal retailers in the street (one of the causes of the revolution by the way) producing the grey economy but also the home-based work, the housing, and the micro company.
The smuggling products are representing 75% of the market flows in Tunisia after the official reports.
Under the Ben Ali regime, the black market was especially on oil and cigarettes. Nowadays the State who is not able to provide minimum benefits to the citizen is tightening the illegal traffic with the help of the anti-corruption team.
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