BUJUMBURA April 12th (ABP) – The Cabinet meeting on Wednesday April 5, 2023 at the Ntare Rushatsi presidential palace under the chairmanship of the Head of State Evariste Ndayishimiye, analyzed 6 points including the draft law fixing the general budget of the Republic of Burundi, fiscal year 2023-2024, according to the press release of the General Secretariat of the State.
According to that press release, the preparation of the 2023-2024 draft budgets is part of the continued implementation of public finance management reforms aimed at switching from the average budget to the program budget.
That draft budget was also prepared at a time when we are in the validation process of the draft document “Vision Burundi Emerging Country in 2040 and Developed in 2060”, which document will serve as a reference in the development of policies and strategies in terms of sustainable development, we pointed out through that press release.
Indeed, to achieve the vision of the President of the Republic summarized in the slogan “Let every mouth have something to eat and every pocket have money”, the 2023-2024 draft budget places particular emphasis on the continued financing the policy of subsidizing organo-mineral fertilizers and the production of selected seeds.
Among the major priority allocations retained in the 2023-2024 draft budget are also the implementation of the wage policy, compensation for the property of people who will be affected by the railway construction project, rehabilitation of the track of Melchior Ndadaye airport, the construction of the Kajeke irrigation dam, the development of the RUGO FARM agropole, the Youth Economic Empowerment and Employment Program (PAEEJ), the construction of the cancer center as well than the construction of a rabbit breeding center.
In order to increase revenue, important measures are planned. Thus, the Burundian Revenue Office (OBR) will continue or undertake the strengthening of the collection of taxes on mining sector activities, the taking of measures to reduce the informal sector through local taxation, the rigorous application of the law concerning the dividends to be paid to the State, the initiation of the revision of the texts and the procedure for granting exemptions, the acceleration of the process of recovery of arrears by the OBR.
In addition to those actions, which the OBR will pursue, there is the improvement of revenue collection tools, in this case the revised laws and the IT infrastructure at the Customs and Excise Office. Other actions will also be taken. Those are the strengthening of mechanisms to fight against corruption, fraud, and smuggling, the improvement of mechanisms for broadening the tax base in accordance with the new laws on tax procedures; income tax and VAT law; rigorous monitoring of VAT refunds; the general commissioning of the electronic invoicing system and the implementation of an online declaration and online payment system.
After discussion and debate on that draft budget, the Cabinet meeting came to the conclusion to suspend the proposed budget and restructure it differently to take into account the notion of program budget. Dividends from entities in which the state has shares should be clearly budgeted as revenue. The budgets of state structures with autonomous management, that is to say the expenditure and revenue must appear in the state budget and at the same time, the ministries are called upon to define the programs before requesting the budgets therein.
A team of expert economists will be put in place to restructure this budget in accordance with these guidelines and the project will be brought back and analyzed in an extraordinary session of the Cabinet meeting as soon as possible, the press release concluded.