Rwanda will spend slightly over Rwf5 trillion in the fiscal year 2023/24, which represents an increase of Rwf265 billion or 6 per cent compared to Rwf4.7 trillion announced in the 2022/23 revised budget, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has said. This was revealed on Thursday, June 15, by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana as he tabled the Budget Framework Paper for the 2023/2024 financial year that starts in July. ALSO READ: Finance minister unveils national budget Ndagijimana told lawmakers that the rise in spending will, among others, fuel ongoing economic recovery, support climate change mitigation as well as finance key investments in education, healthcare, ICT, agriculture and infrastructure through the National Strategy for Transformation. “The budget reflects Government’s economic resilience efforts in the face of global shocks.” He added, “Government will continue to prioritize fiscal consolidation, ease inflation and invest in agriculture, scale up social protection coverage; improve the quality of education, create employment opportunities and support micro, small, medium and large enterprises affected by COVID-19 through the enhanced Economic Recovery Fund and Manufacture and Build to Recover Program.” ALSO READ: Budget: Rwf220bn needed to address urgent financing gaps The proposed budget is comprised of Rwf2,956.1 billion of domestic revenue which represents 63 percent of the total budget, external grants of Rwf652.1billion representing 13 percent of the entire budget and external loans will amounting to Rwf1,225.1billion or 24 per cent of the total budget. The budget is also made up of recurrent expenditure of Rwf2,902.3billion representing 57.7 per cent and development expenditure of Rwf2,127.7billion representing 42.3 per cent. Key allocations According to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, prioritization in resource allocation to various sectors has been guided by critical considerations that enhance NST1 delivery, economic recovery plan interventions, as well as prioritization of ongoing projects. ALSO READ: Rwanda plans to spend over Rwf5 trillion in 2023/24 Against this backdrop, he said, government is expected to allocate Rwf2.8trillion (about 55.9 per cent of the entire budget) to the economic transformation pillar. “These resources will scale-up agriculture productivity, create jobs, support private sector development and strengthen climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.” “It will also increase access to electricity and clean water, support urbanization and settlement, improve the national road network, scale up adoption of ICT, and implement agriculture de-risking and financing facility.” Under the social transformation pillar, Ndagijimana said that government plans to spend Rwf1.5 trillion (approximately 30.4 percent of the entire budget). Under the pillar, the share will be spent on improving quality and access to health and education, eradicate extreme poverty through scaling up of social protection programs, as well as scaling of early childhood development facilities. The funds will also promote family and gender, sports and culture as well as disaster management through enhancing disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Resources have also been planned to promote quality service delivery across public and private sectors, as well as supporting international cooperation through strengthening economic diplomacy. MPs react MP Albert Ruhakana said projects like disaster management deserve more funding than is currently accorded, citing that the government should consider the sector’s significance to the welfare of Rwandans. For instance, he said that only Rwf1.825 billion for disaster management for the next fiscal year, an amount that is “hardly significant” looking at the funds needed to undo the loss brought by the recent floods and landslides. “Even these funds (Rwf1.825 billion) are allocated in two sub programs, despite the damages that were recently caused by floods and landslides,” MP Ruhakana added, “More funds are needed.” According to the Ministry, 1,141 homes and 11 schools have been repaired while 589 families and 2,862 families have been supported with basic materials. MP Frank Habineza welcomed the government’s decision to increase by 10 percent funds allocated to the budget of security organs. He however urged that government waives value added tax on other foodstuffs like cooking oil, due to the high cost of living.