Govt plans to spend Rwf2.8 trillion in 2019-2020 fiscal year

Finance and Economic Planning minister Uzziel Ndagijimana presents the 2019/20-2021/22 Budget Framework Paper to both chambers of Parliament yesterday. Sam Ngendahimana.

The Government has proposed to increase the national budget by over Rwf290 billion, projecting that it will spend over Rwf2.8 trillion in the financial year 2019-2020.

The revelation was made yesterday by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana.

He was presenting to both chambers of Parliament the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) for the next three fiscal years running from 2019/20 to 2021/22.

BFP is a planning document that outlines the Government’s economic policies over the medium term, which guides the preparation of national budgets over a three-year period.

Under the current plan, Ndagijimana told Parliament, the national envelope is projected to increase from Rwf2.5 trillion in the revised budget for fiscal year 2018/19 to Rwf2.8 trillion in the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana presents the Budget Framework Paper for 2019-2020 fiscal year yesterday. Sam Ngendahimana.

Out of over Rwf2.8 trillion planned for the next fiscal year, Rwf1.7 trillion will come from domestic tax and non-tax revenues.

The envelope will also comprise money from domestic borrowing estimated at Rwf237.6 billion, Rwf6.4 billion from net lending and payments, external grants worth Rwf409.8 billion, as well as external loans at the tune of Rwf497 billion.

Ndagijimana told parliamentarians that the budget was designed in line with government strategies aimed at propelling Rwanda into the upper middle income status by 2035 and high income by 2050.

The policies are reflected in the national development Vision 2050 blueprint that is under development as well as the first National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), which has been developed as an implementation instrument of the remainder of Vision 2020 and for the first four years of Vision 2050.

The minister noted that government will continue to promote import substitution and diversification of exports with the aim of reducing exposure to external shocks and trade imbalances over the next three years.

“The implementation of the Made-in-Rwanda policy will continue to play a key role in narrowing the current account deficit in the short to long-run and help to consolidate private sector domestic activities, create jobs and boost economic growth,” he said.

Key targets and interventions under the budget for next fiscal year will include growing traditional exports, promoting non-traditional exports, and growth of the services sector.

It will also focus on cross-cutting interventions such as promotion of Made-in-Rwanda, developing of cross border and trade logistics infrastructure, as well as the development of industrial parks among others.

Out of over Rwf2.8 trillion planned for expenditure in the next fiscal year, the government’s recurrent budget will be Rwf1.4 trillion while development budget will be Rwf1.1 trillion among other expenditures.

Allocation of the budget resources has been channeled in three main sectors, including economic transformation that will claim 56.9 per cent of the budget, social transformation which will receive 27.2 per cent of the budget, while transformational governance will take 15.9 per cent of the budget.

Most MPs welcomed the government’s overall policies guiding the budget planning but also urged more investments in efforts to improve lives for vulnerable citizens as well as mechanisms to curb corruption and wasteful spending of public funds.

MPs John Ruku-Rwabyoma and Eugene Mussolini advocated for more investments to take care of people with disabilities, including children who need a proper education.

“No child deserves to be confined at home just because they are living with disability,” Ruku-Rwabyoma said.

As for MP Veneranda Nyirahirwa, she urged the minister to scale up efforts to curb wasteful spending of public funds.

The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Donatille Mukabalisa, said that legislators will be ready to provide their ideas on the budget proposals during the next exercise of drafting a budget law for the next fiscal year.

“Ideas from Parliament will be shared with all government institutions that are concerned with the budget,” she said.

The Budget Framework Paper will provide the basis for the preparation of the 2019-20 budget which will be read in June 2019.