Rwanda: Over Rwf200 Billion to Fill Financing Gaps as 2023/24 Budget is Approved

More than Rwf211 billion will be spent on addressing the identified financing gaps in order to meet urgent needs such as public servants’ salaries, increased food production, and meals for students in 2023/2024, Parliament has indicated.

The development was announced on June 27 when lawmakers passed the more than Rwf5 trillion national budget for the next fiscal year. The lower house adopted the state finance law of 2023/2024.

The budget was analyzed by the lower house’s committee on national budget and patrimony.

While making a presentation on the budget analysis report, the committee chairperson, MP Omar Munyaneza, said that members appreciated the fact the government addressed 93.2 percent of 71 financing gaps that MPs identified that required Rwf226.4 billion in the next fiscal year.

“That means it was agreed that Rwf211.1 billion will be mobilized in the 2023/24 fiscal year, while the remaining four gaps which require Rwf15.3 billion that you had requested to be addressed in the same year will be catered for in the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) starting from 2024/2025,” he said.

The committee, he said, commended the way the government considered parliamentarians’ inputs to the state budget.

Munyaneza said the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana told lawmakers that because of budget availability limitations, more discussions were held with public entities that are allocated money from the national budget so that the available funds be distributed accordingly.

Priority, he said, was placed on projects that can improve the welfare of citizens and those which can hinder the accomplishment of their responsibilities.

To that end, he said, they agreed that all gaps identified in the funding for public personnel’s salaries be addressed, without waiting for budget revision – which is normally done in the middle of the fiscal year in question.

As a result, he said, Rwf32.4 billion was added to the allocation for all entities in question to cover salaries for civil servants, including teachers.

For instance, during a budget hearing on May 12, the Ministry of Education informed lawmakers that it had a funding gap of over Rwf26 billion to cover the salaries of 8,000 teachers who will be recruited for pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in the next fiscal year.