The Chamber of Deputies has identified 207 most urgent funding gaps which will require Rs 348.2 billion to address, accounting for 7.5 per cent of the next fiscal year’s proposed state budget of over Rs 4.6 trillion.
MEPs want the government to fill these gaps to support the country’s socio-economic development agenda.
This was revealed on Friday 10 June 2022 during the plenary session of the Lower House of Parliament, which adopted the report of its Budget and Heritage Committee on MPs’ contributions to the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) for 2022/2023.
Presenting the report in plenary, MP Omar Munyaneza, chair of the State Budget and Heritage Committee, which analyzed the BFP, said committee members had discussed these funding gaps with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning so that they could be addressed.
“Of those gaps, 50 with a need of Rs 32.6 crore at the start of FY2022/2023 should be filled as the Committee has recognized that if they are rectified, but if so, people’s development and well-being will be improved Otherwise, this would prevent the bodies concerned from fulfilling their responsibilities,” noted Munyaneza.
He also said that 157 gaps requiring Rs.315.6 crore should be addressed during the budget review to prevent a situation where the projects being implemented may stall and fail to deliver value for money.
Some of the funding gaps discovered
In Nyabihu district, the required over Rs 1.5 billion is missing for the construction of a 5.8 km road linking Tubungo (a center in the district’s Rugera sector) to Nyakiriba health center in the same sector.
However, this road was vital for health care as it would allow ambulances access to the health facility and Shyira Hospital, thus aiding in expedited treatment of patients.
For Burera district, there is the issue of expropriation funds to compensate HHs (households) for the construction of the University of Global Health Justice (UGHE/BUTARO) which needs Rs 2.1 billion to complete.
In the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), paying compensation for expropriated property to pave the way for the implementation of projects of public interest required Rwanda 35.3 billion, but allocated Rwanda 4.6 billion, which is a Funding gap of 30 Rwanda means .7 billion.
Gaps in the agricultural sector:
The Gabiro Agri-Business Hub Project required Rs. 31.4 crore but received Rs. 15.9 crore, meaning the project will have to suffer Rs. 15.5 crore for the next financial year.
This project aims to develop an advanced agricultural ecosystem and value chain with advanced water infrastructure, innovative irrigation systems, high quality agro-processing plants and other agrotech activities along the value chain.
Initiated through a partnership between the Government of Rwanda and Netafim – an Israel-based company recognized as a world leader in irrigation – it will be developed in phases where phase one will require an investment of approximately $73.9 million and 5,600 hectares and is expected to be completed on June 30, 2023.
The Seeds and Fertilizers Subsidy Project in Support of Crop Intensification Scheme (CIP) has been allocated Rs.31 crore versus the required Rs.56.8 crore, leaving a gap of Rs.25.8 crore.
The targeted activities under this project include the distribution of over 3,430 tons of quality seeds, 50,179 tons of fertilizers given the rising cost of these inputs, and 37,736 tons of lime with government subsidy, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. With a limited budget, these goals would be unattainable.
In education sector, school equipment of laboratory materials (apparatus and chemicals) required Rs. 63 crore but suffered a gap of Rs. 59 crore as it was allocated only Rs 381 crore.
Parliamentarians and Ministry of Education officials agreed that a lack of funding for these important things would have a negative impact on students’ skills acquisition and therefore called for help to solve the problem.
The same applies to the teaching and learning materials for learners with special needs (e.g. people with disabilities), and the training of teachers in special and inclusive education has a funding gap of more than Rs 1.6 billion.
And practical, short-term training for 5,000 unskilled people, a project being implemented through the National Employment Scheme/NEP, would cost over Rs. 4.8 billion but not a penny was provided.
Still, more than Rs 55.1 crore was needed to provide student loans to students in local higher education institutions and to handle tuition and living expenses payments, but this initiative suffers from a Rs 10 crore gap as only Rs 44.7 crore is allocated. Rupees were earmarked for activity.
For the provision of student loans for students studying abroad in priority areas/areas, this would be achieved with over Rs 7.7 crore support, however only Rs. 5.8 crore has been allocated, a gap of 1, 9 billion rupees implied.
In the health sector, MPs said the government should seek funds to pay Rs 2.5 billion in outstanding arrears owed to health facilities.
These unpaid medical bills came from the medical services they provided to patients before community-based health insurance – Mutuelle de Santé – was transferred to the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) for administration.
RWF 400 million is needed at Ndera Neuropsychiatric Hospital to buy medicines.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that two districts (Kayonza and Ngoma in the Eastern Province, which are prone to drought) have not been allocated a budget to deal with disasters.
MP Odette Uwamariya said: “Kayonza is a district prone to disasters. I don’t understand why he hasn’t been allocated funds.”
MEPs advised all affected bodies to set aside funds earmarked for dealing with disasters.
They also recommended increasing funds to increase agricultural production and increasing irrigation efforts to address the impact of drought on agricultural productivity.