KIMIHURURA-The Lower Chamber of Deputies yesterday approved 2011/12 budget.
The Committee on National Budget and Patrimony had earlier announced that laws on the management and preparation of the budget had followed the letter.
Hon. Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka, the Chairperson of the Committee, told the House that the budget was well prepared as it hinges on the country’s development programs – Vision 2020, and the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
The EDPRS is a strategy document guiding Rwanda's medium-term development ambitions from 2008-2012.
“Even on the international level, it met the terms of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), as well as other development plans and even resolutions by the country‘s top leadership that came out of the government retreat of March 2011 that was held in Kivu Sun hotel in Rubavu,” Mukayuhi said.
She noted that among other significant reflections, emphasis is continuously put in “gender budgeting” as well.
Mukayuhi and her colleagues thoroughly scrutinised the historic Rwf 1 trillion budget envelope ever since Finance minister John Rwangombwa presented it on June 8.
Nonetheless, the Committee affirmed that the budget was still inadequate given the many development goals to be executed, even though in general, it increased by 13 percent compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, family planning initiatives to deal with the country’s population dilemma are one area of concern to the parliament.
Hon. Liberata Kayitesi, the Chairperson of the Rwanda Network of Parliamentarians for Population and Development (RPRPD) sought to know why, the budget does not reflect much emphasis on dealing with the problem.
“Truly, the budget is increasing, but those it is meant for are also increasing at a very high rate. If it goes on like this, the very many good things we do will not satisfy the beneficiaries,” Kayitesi said.
Rwangombwa acknowledged the population problem. But he emphasised that various strategies had been put in place. He also noted that a lot of money went into reproductive health-related areas.
“Even if it is a big problem, there are strategies that have been put in place that make it increasingly easy,” he said.
Rwf. 3,404,847,550 of the budget is meant for reproductive health.
The minister said the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) shows positive progress. One positive indicator, he noted, was that the Rwandan woman’s fertility rate had dropped from the alarming 6.1 children per woman in 2005 to 4.6 children per woman in 2010.