25 September 2017

Burundi: Government to Finance Itself From 2018

Finance Minister, Domitien Ndihokubwayo recently announced that the government is to be self-financing from 2018. He said that during the meeting that the staff of the ministry and the heads of departments in charge of collecting the financial revenues of the state held last week in Ngozi province. They looked into appropriate mechanisms of policy and tax administration to collect more financial resources following the government needs for sustainable development. "We would like the state budget to be financed at 100% through internal resources instead of 70, 3%", he says.

In 2017, the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) plans to collect BIF 720 billion and contribute at 70% to the state budget estimated at BIF 1,326 billion.

Faustin Ndikumana, the chairman of the local NGO, Speech and Action for the Awakening of Conscience and Mindset Change (PARCEM), says Burundi government must firstly analyze different categories of expenditure. He says there are prior expenses related to administration, security, national defense and foreign affairs. "They add to social, education, health and culture expenses and investment expenses including public works, energy and transport", he says.

For Ndikumana, the government should increase the exports to improve the living conditions of the population. "All of these expenses cannot be covered by the internal revenues. No country in the world is financially self-sufficient .Even superpowers seek support from other countries or take out loans", he says.

The chairman of PARCEM urges Burundi government to do its best to normalize relations with its international aid donors in order to fight poverty and improve the living conditions of the population. "I wonder how the government will collect half of the state budget that was in the past given by foreign donors," he says.

In March 2016, the European Union, the main traditional donor to Burundi, suspended its direct aid to the government. It said the government had not done enough to find a political solution to the conflict that has so far cost hundreds of lives.

The EU has suspended its direct financial support to the Burundian administration, including budgetary support, but maintains its humanitarian aid and full financial support for the population.

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