Gov’t moves to recover billions of state funds

• Over Rwf 1 billion could be recovered annually The government has resolved to move swiftly in an attempt to retrieve billions of state monies lost because of ‘non-execution of judgments by the state. These include unrecovered funds by the state in courts; proportional tax and court fees; and billions held in different court accounts.
 Tharcisse Karugarama
Tharcisse Karugarama

• Over Rwf 1 billion could be recovered annually

The government has resolved to move swiftly in an attempt to retrieve billions of state monies lost because of ‘non-execution of judgments by the state.

These include unrecovered funds by the state in courts; proportional tax and court fees; and billions held in different court accounts.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama, convened a meeting with the Supreme Court, the National Public Prosecutions Authority (NPPA), Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA)and the Ministry of Local Government (Minaloc) to discuss the issue of the non-execution of judgments by the state with respect to the funds.

Celestin Bumbakare, the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes at RRA who attended the meeting, said in a phone interview Thursday that if the measures adopted work, over Rwf 1 billion could be recovered every year.

In a communiqué issued by the Ministry of Justice following the Wednesday meeting, six key recommendations are highlighted.

One is that the specialized unit earlier set up by Cabinet within the Ministry of Justice on the management of abandoned property, be given the responsibility to coordinate and gather information from all sectors concerning all final rendered judgments in which the state has a stake.

The meeting recommended that RRA and the districts be availed with the information by the unit so as to recover all funds awarded to the state plus charges supposed to be deposited in the government or district treasury.

The charges referred to are proportional tax, fines and court fees.

The RRA shall also recover state funds using its bailiffs or contract professional bailiffs if deemed necessary, the meeting directed.

“Districts shall also ensure that the existing bailiffs at the cell and sector level be engaged in collecting hundreds of millions of state funds that are still in the hands of the public,” reads part of the communiqué.

The communiqué adds that all state debtors should clear their debts by May 31, and “failure to do so will lead to other serious measures”.

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