Finance ministry consults technocrats on 2013 budget

Consultations with sector ministries on the budget for the next fiscal year (2013-2014) are ongoing, but preliminary forecasts show it may be at around Rwf1.5 trillion, a top official at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning ministry (Minecofin) has said.
L-R: Cabinet Affairs minister Protais Musoni, Finance Minister Gatete and State minister Evode Imena (Mining) chat at the Finance Ministry headquarters in Kigali yesterday.  The New Ti....
L-R: Cabinet Affairs minister Protais Musoni, Finance Minister Gatete and State minister Evode Imena (Mining) chat at the Finance Ministry headquarters in Kigali yesterday. The New Ti....

Consultations with sector ministries on the budget for the next fiscal year (2013-2014) are ongoing, but preliminary forecasts show it may be at around Rwf1.5 trillion, a top official at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning ministry (Minecofin) has said.

The Director-General of National Budget, Elias Baingana, told The New Times shortly after one of the consultative meetings on Monday that the country’s next budget will be “slightly below or slightly above 1.5 trillion.”

The official said everything remains provisional as the consultations go on.

“We’re not sure yet, it could be up, or below; anything is possible,” he said.

The country’s current budget, which stands at about Rwf1.3 trillion, will run up to July.

Budget consultations with all the ministries started last week and will be completed tomorrow [today], Baingana said, adding that it has been a busy week for technocrats at all the ministries.

Finance minister Claver Gatete said the bottom line with the current consultations on the budget is to ensure that government conducts its normal business of paying civil servants to do their work in the next fiscal year, but also with a focus on implementing development projects.

The plans include a five-year development plan called the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRSII), which has four areas of focus–including economic transformation, rural development, productivity and skills development, and accountable governance–as well as the country’s overall economic blueprint, Vision 2020, that aims at turning Rwanda into a middle income economy.

“We have our clear targets, we have clear priority areas, we are now consulting to project the budget for the next year, and maybe two other years. We are trying to see how government programmes are aligned with all these areas that we want to promote,” Gatete said in an interview after a consultation at his office yesterday.

Donor cut challenge


The country’s current fiscal year was especially challenging due to unstable world economic prospects and the suspension of aid meant to supplement the national budget over allegations that Rwanda was backing M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

In February, government revised the budget for the current fiscal year upwards, from Rwf1.3 trillion that was initially approved by Parliament to  Rwf1.5 trillion.

The government had said additional resources worth Rwf227 billion to support the revised budget would come from a sovereign bond worth $350m (about Rwf222b) which government plans to issue as an international bond to support its infrastructure projects.

Donor countries and institutions that support the country’s budget, at about 40 per cent, have been recently releasing their aid back to Rwanda. Kigali has denied it supports the rebel movement.

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