MPs welcome 2012/13 budget
Lawmakers commended the country’s 2012/13 national budget read yesterday by Finance Minister John Rwangombwa.
Reading details of sectoral allocations and priorities in the revised budget, Rwangombwa noted that the government would make a total investment of Rwf 3,436.0 billion to achieve EDPRS targets.
The fiscal year 2012/13 is the final year of EDPRS implementation.
According to Bwiza, in the previous two or three years, in terms of planning budget allocations, there were gaps, particularly in needs assessment unlike today.
“It is now coming closer to becoming realistic and, in the next few years, our budget will be thoroughly aligning to the real needs assessment which, to me, justifies that the budget is pro-citizens.
There is more emphasis on the priorities which is largely the essence of good governance. It captures the benefits to the citizens by ensuring real focus on poverty reduction,” she said.
“The future is even brighter as it will be improved. Already, the mindset is turning towards gender responsiveness and this is a great achievement. Earlier, we could not quantify things, but progress was made. It can now be reflected and quantified and so far, everything is good, given what we have noted from all the government agencies that passed here.”
MP Theobald Mporanyi said “adequate” efforts were being put in to ensure that the country and its people ultimately become self-reliant.
“It is important to ensure that even if donor support came to a halt, our children can still go to school, Rwandans can go to hospital and government institutions would still function. The steps taken so far are a big achievement. We cannot get stuck. And, with each passing year, we are making commendable progress.”
Senator Donatille Mukabalisa, also noted that she approved of the progressive search for self-sufficiency and gender budget mainstreaming in the budget.
“The gender budget responsiveness is indeed welcome and it is encouraging to see that all government agencies are embracing it totally. They now understand this essential budget tool. Its rationale is progressively being understood and this will spur development.”
MP Saidat Mukanoheli said: “The country is constantly making advancement in all areas and the gender element in the budget is something very good. It is better than how things were years ago and the improvements are worth all the efforts put in. Rwandans will benefit from the general empowerment of the women empowerment.”
AfDB says growth prospects could attract investors
A statement from the African Development Bank (AfDB) country office observed that the budget priorities were in line with the EDPRS and Vision 2020 goals and objectives which are also informed by the recent EICV 3 survey results.
The AfDB notes that, in particular, the medium term fiscal policy stance aims at sustaining funding for the EDPRS priority areas of economic infrastructure, productive capacities, human development and social sectors. The share of the budget for these sectors is thus projected to exceed 70 percent of total outlays between 2012/13 and 2014/15 in line with the EDPRS targets.
“Access to infrastructure has implications for the cost of doing business and economic competitiveness. Stated differently, sustained investments in infrastructure should contribute to further reductions in the cost of doing business and thus spur expansion in economic activities for the majority of Rwandans.”
“Therefore, the government’s focus on these key areas is commendable and is expected to consolidate earlier gains in GDP growth and accelerate poverty reduction.”
With respect to fear over the persistent volatility in the global economy, the statement noted that “one of the key transmission channels of these global volatilities to the Rwandan economy is expected to be via weaker global demand which could impact on the country’s trade balance.”
“However, sustained implementation of the Government’s National Export Strategy that was launched in 2011 is expected to contribute to export diversification and thus contribute to addressing Rwanda’s vulnerability to external shocks.”
“There is also a potential silver lining for Rwanda from the global economic uncertainties. For instance, Rwanda’s real GDP growth rate is projected at 7.7% in 2012 and 7.5% in 2013 compared to the 5% projection for developing countries. This suggests that Rwanda has the potential to attract additional investments from investors seeking to offload their holdings in Europe and other continents where growth prospects are not as solid as in Rwanda.”
Contact email: karuhanga.james[at]newtimes.co.rw