There are only eleven months left to reach the electoral deadlines officially scheduled for December 2017 according to the New Year’s Eve agreement. Now that all eyes are focused on CENI, Pierre Kangudia Mbayi, the Minister of State in charge of the budget, kindly illuminates the public opinion on the state of public finances. At best, on the budget envelope that will finance the various electoral operations in view.
It is in this context that the Minister of State held his first press conference yesterday Wednesday February 15 at the Blue Lounge of The Government House. On the menu, the state of public finance, the fundraising strategy to broaden the revenue base and the draft budget for 2017.
« It is difficult for us to mobilize US 1,800,000,000 to organize the elections in 2017. I am realistic. This is impossible with regard to estimates and available revenues, regardless of who is coming. But I did not say there will be no elections in this year, « Minister Pierre Kangudia told a crowd of journalists.
In view of the figures provided by the budgetary authority at the press conference, the holding of elections, whose budget is estimated at US $ 1,800,000,000, seems already hypothetical in this year, if urgent measures are not taken. The alarm bell is thus pulled. More by a technocrat, preoccupied with the practical management of public revenue and expenditure, than by a policy that merely hums the popular tune.
« Since we came, we found a slotted pot »
« On our arrival, since the inauguration of the Samy Badibanga Government on December 23, 2016, we found a holed casserole – allusion here made to the Treasury. The deficit was 512 billion Congolese francs. Over time, we have managed to reduce this deficit to 503.9 billion Congolese francs, almost a week. Today, the balance recorded in January 2017 is 5.9 billion Congolese francs. This is what explains the stability observed on the exchange market to date”, The Minister of State points out.
Given the limited resources available and the adequate management of public expenditure in this particular period, Pierre Kangudia Mbayi considers that it is necessary to extend the provisional credit each month from 557.7 billion Congolese francs until adoption of the annual budget for 2017.
Slowness in the preparation of the 2017 budget
To this end, the Minister of State lamented the apparent slowness of the agents mobilized for the preparation of the draft budget for 2017. He promised to get more involved to put pressure on the commission in charge of elaborating this project and on many other facilitators of institutions and stakeholders who will be needed to ensure that this proposal for the finance act is ready before the parliamentary session in March.
Faced with the burden of the country in this sensitive period of transition, the Congolese minister of budget considers it appropriate to refine strategies likely to increase the resources of the Treasury. « Our proposals are intended to increase tax pressures, which are now around 10%, while in other countries they are around 20% … We are therefore obliged to broaden the tax base. And to do this, it is necessary to rely more on the recovery that is still lacking in our country, « indicated the number one of the Budget.
Counting more on internal efforts
In this regard, the budgetary authority has made it clear to the audience that, henceforth, greater reliance is needed on internal efforts to ensure revenue mobilization rather than placing too much reliance on external assistance.
At the end of his speech, the Minister of State announced the availability of the US $ 500 million credit line to finance agricultural projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the fishing sector. He was surprised to see that very few are compatriots who dare to apply, while public funds are within their reach.