Following the tabling of the Budget Framework Paper before Parliament by the Minister of Finance, the House has proposed the re-allocation of Rwf 9.1billion to various entities and projects.
The proposal was tabled by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget and National Patrimony chaired by Hon. Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka.
Presenting her concept paper before yesterday, Rwaka pointed out that her committee gave the One-Laptop-Per-Child (OLPC)project a top up of Rwf 4 billion compared the to initial request of Rwf 5 billion.
The National University of Rwanda had requested and increment of Rwf 1.4 billion and parliament committee granted its request.
“The money we re-allocated was from the Ministry of Finance where we reduced funds from the monetary policy management, and money allocated to the Strategic Investment Fund,” revealed Rwaka.
“We also cut some money from Higher Education to provide funds for OLPC project and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” she said.
One of the proposals forwarded by the budget committee include a top up of Rwf 200m for the Girl Education Programme which Rwaka explained includes purchasing of sanitary towels for girls.
MP Ignatienne Nyirarukundo objected to the proposal saying that: “This is an exaggeration and it should not be put in the budget. Menstruation is a natural issue that should not be budgeted for.”
Rwaka immediately intervened and convinced her that recent research findings indicated that the high cost of sanitary towels contributes highly to the rate of absenteeism in school and later drop outs among girls and that that is why the government was intervening.
“This package is for vulnerable girls only; imagine a financially incapacitated family with four girls who are going to school and need these sanitary towels…I personally witnessed the hardships girls were going through. This money is clearly justifiable.”
The parliament later approved the changes made on the 2010/11 budget and forwarded it to the cabinet for approval before it is tabled officially before the Parliament on June 10.
The 2010/11 draft budget indicates that State expenditures will stand at Rwf952.6billion