The long-awaited 2014/15 financial year budget was finally presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Amb Claver Gatete last Thursday. Lawmakers welcomed it as 'a good step' towards self-reliance.
The Finance Minister revealed that the government plans to spend over Rwf1.75 trillion in the next fiscal year, an increase of Rwf75.5b compared to over Rwf1.6 trillion in the 2013/14 financial year revised budget.
According to the theme of the budget proposal, "Infrastructure development to accelerate export growth" the government looks to focus on implementing strategic policies aimed at addressing the infrastructure needs of the country to increase export of goods and services.
However, this ambitious plan cannot be achieved without a collective effort of all Rwandans. As citizens, we are expected to support the government to achieve the desired development agenda, helping the country to attain its goals under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy. Some of the priority areas the next budget will support include energy generation, agriculture modernisation and agro-processing, exports promotion, urbanisation and rural development and skills development including TVET, social protection and promotion of a green economy.
To achieve the projected economic growth and finance national programmes, the government has laid down various strategies to boost tax revenues and non-tax revenues, which include tax awareness and sensitisation campaigns aimed at educating taxpayers, promotion of electronic billing machines among all VAT-registered taxpayers in order to strengthen tax management and reduce tax evasion through non-issuance of receipts.
The government targets to raise Rwf1.08 trillion or 62 per cent of the total budget, from domestic resources, including tax revenues worth Rwf906.8b, non-tax revenue of Rwf79b, domestic financing of Rwf95.6b and Rwf4b net lending. External resources are projected at Rwf667.6b (38 per cent of the total budget.
The writer is the
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