The government has presented to parliament the budget for the fiscal year 2021/22. The budget has been prepared on the background of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has slowed economic activity affected people livelihoods.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana virtually presented the budget to both chambers of parliament on Tuesday, June 22. He defended the 9.8 per cent increase in government spending from Rwf3,464.8 billion in the 2020/21 fiscal year to Rwf3,807 billion in the fiscal year 2021/22.
The following were the reactions from members of parliament on the government's plans.
In the future the budget should allocate funds into helping citizens in their initiatives or work with them. For example, when citizens decide to build their own roads the government should be able to help them in such initiatives.
TVET schools should also focus on improving the agriculture because most agricultural projects fail due to limited knowledge which can be prevented through educating young people.
This budget should have given priority to small and medium business owners like motel owners and small businesses which were also affected by Covid-19 and not only focus on the big companies.
How will the projected growth be attained yet the pandemic which caused problems is worsening? Sixty-seven per cent of the budget will be funded by domestic revenues how will this happen when the virus is still here and we are still fighting it? What are the measures that will ensure that all the projects are well implemented while citizens are being protected?
Theoneste Begumisa Safari
The government should have put more efforts into encouraging the generation of solar energy which will come at a cheaper cost to allow more citizens to access electricity. This can also stimulate green agricultural growth by powering irrigation schemes.
The government should ensure that the proposed affordable housing projects in Kigali and its suburbs carter for public servants and low-income families. Otherwise, they will really not be affordable. The government should also establish a system that will enable it to track all the jobs created otherwise it will set unrealistic goals in terms of job creation.
The efforts to scale up water distribution is commendable, but there's need to build more water tanks which will be accessible to the citizens.
Also, the budget should also have detailed how the new policies on elderly people and people with disabilities will be financed and implemented.
There's an increase in the prices of essential commodities on the market and projections suggest that there will be further price increases. This will continue to increase the cost of living.
The budget did not apportion subsidies to help low-income citizens to access these essential goods.
Marie Therese Murekatete
The budget should clearly outline the president's pledges to the citizens and show how the money will be mobilized. It will not only help us in accountability but will also help us to keep track of every single project in the president's promises.