Boost for teachers as gov’t slashes spending on international travels

Treasury is set to cut spending on international travels and the purchase of office paper within government institutions as it seeks to raise resources and increase investment in the teachers’ savings cooperative movement, Umwalimu Sacco, on the backdrop of budget constraints.
Rwanda should seek to grow its exports within the region as a cushion from international shocks. The New Times / File.
Rwanda should seek to grow its exports within the region as a cushion from international shocks. The New Times / File.

Treasury is set to cut spending on international travels and the purchase of office paper within government institutions as it seeks to raise resources and increase investment in the teachers’ savings cooperative movement, Umwalimu Sacco, on the backdrop of budget constraints.

The proposal is contained in the 2012/13 budget framework paper with government planning to invest more than Rwf10 billion in the Umwalimu Sacco to facilitate teacher to access loans. Government has been spending Rwf500 million in the cooperative.

Government also seeks to reduce the cost of meetings, seminars, trainings and international travels in the next financial year. The move will see it save Rwf13 billion.

 “We have to forego certain things not because they are not important but because the investments in these areas would bring more returns in other sectors,” said Elias Baingana Director General of National Budget in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

He added; “We are seeing uncertainties on the world financial situation that might not favour our economic growth and we are opting for wise spending by cutting in some budget lines to increase on priority areas,” he said.

Domestic revenue for 2013 Calendar year is projected to be 14.3 per cent share of GDP from 2012 while donor grants are projected to decline to 10.6 per cent from 11.4 per cent.

Baingana added that all the ministries and government offices have internet connection asking them to maximise the utilisation of the facility.

“Rwanda is known for ICT development, we should exploit the benefit, use internet platforms to communicate among government offices and reduce paperwork in office and luckily enough most of us have smart phones,” he stressed.

More resources will be allocated to projects and programmes that have high impact on growth and employment, he said, adding that the decision will enhance efficiency in budget allocation and execution.

Among other priority areas for 2012/13 are energy, SME development, market access for local produce and construction of feeder roads connecting districts.

According to budget framework paper, total expenditure is projected to rise to 26.7 percent of GDP in 2012/13 to cater for the public sector wage increases and an increase in domestically funded capital spending.

The 2012/13 budget has an additional Rwf186 billion making the total resource envelope to reach Rwf 1,378.4 billion from RwF1, 194 billioin 2011/12.

 Hiring contractual personnel has also been identified as one area that costs government highly because most institutions recruit contractual personnel exceeding the staff limit provided in the organisational structure.

While there has not been a clear decision to cut budget on this, the measures to recruit have tightened. In future, such recruitment will be approved by Cabinet or be formally authorised by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour with a copy to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Government is expecting to raise resources to finance its budget through donor grants but mainly through domestic revenue mobilisation to reduce the fiscal deficit.

The other option is to acquire external loans since domestic resource mobilisation will not be enough to entirely close the medium term resource gap with external resources are expected to decline.

Revenues are projected to increase by 0.2 percent of GDP from RwF565.1 billion in 2011/2012 to RwF665.7 billion in 2012/2013.

 

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