Government launches citizens’ Budget guide

Government has embarked on a campaign to sensitise citizens about the country’s 2013-2014 Budget to garner their support on its implementation.
Minister Gatete and  Bayingana (L) at the launch of ‘The National Budget: A citizen’s guide 2013-2014’ booklet yesterday. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
Minister Gatete and Bayingana (L) at the launch of ‘The National Budget: A citizen’s guide 2013-2014’ booklet yesterday. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

Government has embarked on a campaign to sensitise citizens about the country’s 2013-2014 Budget to garner their support on its implementation.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (Minecofin) yesterday released some 17,000 copies of a 30-page booklet that explains sources of the current Rwf 1.6 trillion Budget and how it will be spent on both government day-to-day business and development activities in the country.

The principle underlying the Budget guide booklet, titled “The National Budget: A citizen’s guide 2013-2014,” is be to increase citizens’ participation in the budget execution.

Launching the booklet at a news briefing at the ministry offices in Kigali, Finance Minister Amb. Claver Gatete highlighted the importance of citizens’ involvement as government moves to implement the budget.

“The public should know that activities planned in the Budget are meant for them. They need to take part in activities that are initiated (by the government) in their interests,” he said.

Unlike in the last fiscal year when the ministry printed about 3,000 booklets for use by officials, business leaders, and opinion leaders across the country, this year , the campaign has widened to include leaders at the village (Umudugudu) level among recipients of the booklet.

Officials say the government is seeking improved cooperation from the people on fiscal issues.

“The message is not different from last year’s but the approach differs slightly,” says Elias Bayingana, the director general of national budget in the ministry of finance. “We would like to work more closely with the people.”

The government will spend 49 per cent of the planned Rwf1.6 trillion in the 2013/2014 fiscal year on strengthening drivers of economic transformation as identified in the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), leaving the remaining 51 per cent of the funds for recurrent expenditure.

The Budget guide booklet will show citizens how proposed priority activities in several areas under EDPRS II will be funded.

People involvement 

Among other initiatives, the booklet encourages people to follow up on the progress of development activities in their respective areas by attending accountability  day events and monitoring the implementation of performance contracts (Imihigo).

“What we need is everyone’s participation in the implementation of this budget. We need everyone to know that more people are watching as we move to implement this budget,” Gatete said.

Government has planned to draw 51 per cent of the resources needed in the Budget from tax and non-tax revenues, 28.4 per cent from grants, and 20.6 per cent from domestic and foreign loans.

Up to 49 per cent of the funds will be allocated to development projects under the  EDPRS II, under the four thematic areas that include economic transformation, rural development, productivity and youth employment, as well as accountable governance.

Titled “Striving for Self-reliance and Dignity”,  the 2013-2014 Budget seeks to fast-track the country’s overall economic blueprint, Vision 2020, that aims at turning Rwanda into a middle income economy.

 

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