Rwanda seeks $24.5m more for infrastructure projects

Thursday February 8 2018

Rwanda’s Finance Minister Claver Gatete.

Rwanda’s Finance Minister Claver Gatete reads the 2017/18 budget in Parliament on June 8, 2017. PHOTO | RWANDA GOVERNMENT 

By EDMUND KAGIRE
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Rwanda plans to increase spending in infrastructure by $24.5 million in the next five months, with part of the funds going to the national carrier RwandAir.

The government will also use some of the money to increase its stake in global hotelier Marriot Hotel.

“The additional budget will be raised through the sale of treasury bonds on the stockmarket," said Finance Minister Claver Gatete, adding that some funds will come from "reserves generated from taxes on petroleum products.”

Mr Gatete said was presenting the amended 2017/2018 budget to Parliament for approval on Wednesday. The government’s fiscal year ends on June 30.

The increase in budget will bring the total to $2.58 billion.

Mr Gatete said the country’s trade deficit declined in 2017 from $1.62 billion to $1.27 billion, representing a 21.7 per cent drop.

He cited 57.6 per cent increase in exports while imports declined by 1.4 per cent for the reduction on the balance of payments.

Rising export revenues was attributed to the increase in minerals, coffee and tea exports.

Mr Gatete said domestic revenues increased from Rwf1.37 trillion ($1.6bn) to Rwf1.41trillion ($1.68bn), reflecting an increase of Rwf37.5bn ($44m).

The increase in domestic revenue was supported by sale of treasury bonds last year.

Kigali is also looking at increasing tax revenues from the targeted Rwf6.5bn to Rwf669.4bn by the end of 2017/18 fiscal year.