Rwamagana – The Director General in the Ministry of Local Government, Egide Rugamba, has advised Eastern Province leaders to direct a large chunk of their budget to economic projects as opposed to social affairs.
He was reacting to the 2012-2013 budget proposals from seven districts in the province.
The over Rwf 52.9 billion budget which was lower by 7.7 percent than last year’s, has the biggest percentage allocated to social projects.
Rugamba referred to situations where districts budgets on social affairs exceeded 50 percent, pointing out that the budget should instead contribute to sustainable livelihoods of families and communities, so as to meet social realities.
“It is not right to allocate 30 percent of your budget to salaries and wages...Ngoma District for instance, presented a budget where 85 percent went to social development. Economic development budget is not supposed to go below 30 percent and social development shouldn’t go beyond 30 percent, etc,” he stated.
Rugamba observed that the Eastern Province had enough resources that only needed to be mobilised to spur its economy.
He disclosed that the province may not benefit from the next government’s direct support, because it does not need it anymore.
“Direct support to VUP cannot necessarily continue to be uniform because some districts in the country have 73 percent of their population below the poverty line, while others have lesser figures or none.
Provincial Governor, Odette Uwamariya, reiterated the need to seriously embark on economic development projects, and advised district leaders to streamline their budgets.
“It is illogical to allocate almost all your budget to social affairs...you must have to go back and rethink about it wisely. More consultations are needed before you present your final version,” she reiterated.
The budget will be presented to the ministries of Local Government and Finance before February 10.