The New Times (Kigali)

22 March 2014

Rwanda: MPs Approve Revised Budget

Parliament on Thursday passed the revised national budget for the Financial Year 2013/2014.

According to the Bill tabled in the House on March 6, the budget was revised up by Rwf24.2bn, from the original budget of Rwf1.653 trillion to Rwf1.677 trillion.

While explaining motives behind the budget revision, MP Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka, the chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on National Budget and Patrimony, told the House that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had tabled the Bill because of several changes that affected the national budget, that caused unforeseen expenditure.

Rwaka said revenues decreased by Rwf15.7bn following a decline in agriculture due to unfavourable weather conditions during the farming season A.

Donor money which reduced up to Rwf7.1bn, also affected the national budget.

The money allocated to projects also decreased by Rwf15bn.

Germany, for example, released a half of the money they had pledged because they preferred to give it in two installments.

On a positive note, MPs congratulated the Rwandan men and women in peacekeeping operations around the world, because these operations brought in Rwf20.4bn.

While reacting to the revised budget early this month, MPs challenged reliance on donor funds, and suggested that the country should look into more investment ventures to fill the gaps caused by donor surprise decisions.

Amb. Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, suggested that "improved relations have made most donors to resume aid flow to the country, while others have increased their original contributions."

He said the revised Budget will also be boosted by the funds received from RwandAir, in repayment for money which the national carrier had borrowed from government to clear a longstanding debt.

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