Budget: EAC states prioritise growth
The East African Community (EAC) partner states yesterday presented their national Budgets with a focus on the socio-economic transformation in the next fiscal year of 2013/2014.
There was an increase by partner states in their budget allocations compared to 2012/2013 Budgets, putting emphasis on infrastructure and agriculture, which is an indication of fast-tracking economic growth, while promoting inclusion and sustainability.
The Rwanda government has increased the national budget from over Rwf1.5trillion in 2012/2013 fiscal year to Rwf1.6 trillion in 2013/2014.
The focus is on transforming infrastructure and agriculture sectors.
Economic transformation has been allocated Rwf459 billion which makes it 28 percent of the total budget, rural development Rwf164 billion (10 per cent) of the total budget, Productivity and youth employment Rwf163 billion (10 per cent).
“The remaining Rwf41billion which adds up to two per cent has been allocated to accountable governance,” according to the budget.
Presenting the budget, Amb. Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said in the last decade, Rwanda experienced one of the exciting periods of economic growth and socio-economic progress.
The Ugandan government has budgeted Shs12 trillion that combines spending cuts to various sectors of the economy with tax increments.
The country is seeking ways to close the deficit left by aid cuts resulting from the theft of donor funds in the public administration.
The 2012/2013 national budget for Uganda was at sh10.25 trillion meaning that the country has increased the 2013/2014 financial year by more than shs2 trillion.
“The financial year 2013/14 budget, like the one last year, will continue to focus on translating the Government’s strategic priorities into practice over the next year,” Maria Kiwanuka, Uganda’s Finance Minister said while presenting the budget in Kampala.
Kenya has the biggest Budget compared to other EAC member states.
The Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury, Henry Rotich presented a Sh1.6 trillion 2013/2014 budget despite the fact the country has a total debt of Sh1.8 trillion, with Sh800 billion borrowed in domestic debt and Sh1 trillion as external debt.
Kenya’s Budget increased from Sh1.459 trillion in 2012/2013 to Sh1.6 trillion in the next financial year. The country’s budget has been allocated to various sectors like health (Sh34.7 billion), transport (Sh125 billion), energy (Shs78.5 billion), ICT (Shs9.5billion), and Education and technology (Sh130 billion) among others.
Tanzania, the largest EAC country unveiled TZSh18.2 trillion to cover several social and economic sectors as the country puts much emphasis on infrastructure development and upholding fiscal measures.
The budget is 18 per cent higher than the amount spent in 2012/2013 Budget. The Tanzanian Finance Minister, Dr William Mgimwa, said the country has managed to contain inflation and the emphasis will be put on anti-inflationary measures while promoting investment friendly environment.
Burundi’s budget is small compared to other member states.
The government has presented BIF1.9 trillion for the 2013/2014 financial year that will be channelled towards the economic recovery, following the several adverse economic shocks, the country suffered last year. At relative peace since rebels joined the government in 2009, Burundi now focuses on transforming the economy and start self-financing of its national budget by 2025.
The 2013/14 budget predicts the economy, heavily dependent on coffee exports, will grow by 6.6 per cent, up from an estimated 4.7 per cent in 2012.
Nevertheless the EAC partner states have one thing in common - achieving economic structural transformation while lifting citizens out of poverty.
Contact email: frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw