KAMPALA, June 11 (Reuters) - Following are highlights of budgets for the 2015/16 fiscal year for Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
The budget announcements are coordinated across the East African Community, which comprises Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
The financial year starts on July 1 across the region.
Uganda Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said in a budget speech that Uganda projected growth of 5.8 percent in 2015/16, compared with 5.3 percent in 2014/15.
“The economy is projected to grow at 5.8 percent next financial year, largely on account of the recovery in private sector consumption, as well as acceleration in both public and private investment,” Kasaija said, according to finance ministry statement on the speech.
“The budget deficit for the coming financial year is therefore projected to increase to 7 percent of GDP compared to 4.5 percent for this year. Over the medium term, the deficit will average about 6 percent.”
“To avoid an increase in relatively expensive domestic borrowing and reduce the fiscal burden of debt payments over the medium term, a larger share of the fiscal deficit will be financed by external loans. We will continue to pursue concessional loans as the preferred means of meeting our external financing requirements.”
“New domestic debt to be raised through Treasury Bills and Bonds next year is expected to amount to 1.384 trillion shillings ($437.97 million). These funds will help to finance Government’s contribution to infrastructure investment projects.”
“The total approved budget for next financial year is 23.972 trillion shillings. Out of this, 17.329 trillion shillings is allocated for spending by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), which includes statutory expenditures amounting to 1,148 billion shillings. 6.643 trillion shillings is debt repayments plus interest on total debt.
“The total debt repayment includes 4.787 trillion shillings which is meant to pay maturing domestic debt; 200 billion shillings for recapitalization of the Bank of Uganda; 1.371 trillion shillings and 285.7 billion shillings for domestic and external debt interest payments respectively.”
Tanzania’s 2015/16 (July-June) spending will rise by 13.3 percent to 22.495 trillion shillings ($10 billion), Finance Minister Saada Mkuya Salum said in his budget speech.
“The government’s 2015/16 budget of 22.495 trillion shillings has increased by 2.642 trillion shillings” compared to 2014/15, she said.
“Priorities for the government’s budget in 2015/16 include financing the general election, rural electrification, water and strategic investment projects,” Salum said.
Tanzania has concluded talks with two agencies about securing a credit rating, Salum said. The government said last year it plans to issue a debut eurobond worth up to $1 billion to finance infrastructure projects after securing credit rating.
“Talks between the government and Moody’s and Fitch Ratings for credit rating have been concluded. We hope the government will sign agreements with these companies before July 2015,” she said.
“The government plans to spend 16.57 trillion shillings for recurrent expenditure and 5.919 trillion shillings for development expenditure,” Salum said.
Finance Minister Claver Gatete in a speech to parliament said 2015/2016 budget will be 1.768 trillion Rwandan francs ($2.58 billion), up from 1.762 trillion during this year.
Gatete also maintained Rwanda’s economic forecast, projecting the economy to grow 6.5 percent in 2015 and 2016.
“Government will finance 66 percent of its budget through domestic resources amounting to 1.174 trillion francs indicating an increase of 41.6 billion francs compared to the domestic revenues in the 2014/15 revised budget,” Gatete said, according to a finance ministry statement of his speech.
“External resources are estimated at 594.0 billion francs representing a reduction of 35.8 billion francs. Grants in 2015/16 budget are estimated at 358.3 billion francs indicating 58.8 billion francs reduction, while external loans will increase by 23 billion francs to 235.7 billion francs.
($1 = 3,160.0000 Ugandan shillings)
$1 = 686.0000 Rwandan francs Reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala, Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala in Dodoma and Clement Uwiringiyimana in Kigali; Writing by Drazen Jorgic and Edith Honan; Editing by James Macharia