Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Uzziel Ndagijimana has presented the county’s budget framework paper for the next financial year which starts in July 2018.
The proposed total budgeted resources for fiscal year 2018/19 amount to Rwf2, 443.5 billion, which is Rwf328.2 billion higher compared to Rwf2, 115.3 in the 2017/18 revised budget.
Internally generated revenues will finance the budget at a rate of 84% compared to 83% for the last financial year, an increase of 1%.
External Grants are estimated at Rwf396.3 billion equivalent to 16% of total budget while external loans are projected at Rwf400.9 billion representing 16% of total budget.
Domestic loans are projected at Rwf137.7 billion representing 6% of total budget.
According to MP Juvenal Nkusi, “the 84% internal budget financing is enough for the betterment of development programs.”
However, members of parliament raised several issues about the budget framework paper and most of them referred to the Auditor General’s report that was presented in the morning.
Several properties were found idle, other projects were delayed or even abandoned.
This brought a loss of Rwf 270 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year.
Other issues were on the delay of financing the projects where, the MPs said, as a result the implementation is still below the average.
For example, MP Mukayuhi Rwaka Constance indicated that in the last financial year, development activities implementation is still below the average with 34%.
In southern province and Western province for example, the execution of allocated budget for the current financial year is around 30%.
In Kigali city, implementation is the highest with 40% but in Nyarugenge district, the implementation is the lowest countrywide with 5%.
Minister Ndagijimana explained that in most cases, in the first half, the activities are at the level of contracts, while in the second term, expenses rise when payment of projects starts.
He also said, for long term projects, it may sound that if a project is performing below the average it is alarming, but all may depend on the completion period.
He however said, they keep an eye on projects.
“We have a way of following up the projects. We do a quarterly evaluation and we shall continue doing that. We are currently evaluating the report until December 2017. The report will be filed to cabinet.”
MPs criticized the issue of University of Rwanda which, the government wants to be autonomous while it still has a heavy loan of Rwf12bn to clear which means that they are not able to finance themselves.
UR has such a burden that it owes to its staff arrears of 3 to 4 months, including in terms of salaries and other allowances.
Minister Ndagijimana said they have already agreed with the university on a new financing mechanism.
MP Juvénal Nkusi asked why the railway was not budgeted for while it is expected to be launched in October, Minister Ndagijimana responded that it may be too early to do that when the project financing is not yet available and the roadmap of activities fine-tuned.
Meanwhile there is good news for genocide survivors whose houses are in sorry state.
Minister Ndagijimana said that the country has budget for construction of new, strong houses.
Ndagijimana informed the parliament that Rwanda’s foreign currency’s reserves is of 4 months, which Ndagijimana said, “is a good reserve according to the International Monetary Fund standards.”
Ndagijimana said, the country is budgeting for 783 projects.
Activities in the budget implementation is monitored through three clusters; economic, social and governance cluster.