Public finances: Tshisekedi regime blows budget

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 The Observatory of Public Spending (0dep), an NGO created in 2011 and which groups organizations that follow the government’s budget, is not soft with the new power in place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to first newsletter issued by this NGO.

Extrabudgetary expenditure, poor performance of the fi nancial authorities and an explosion of institutional expenditure, explains in the preamble the Odep which notes that the first three months of the Tshisekedi era “have not been tender for the finances of the State”. He goes back to the fact that the new regime did away with the 2019 Finance Act passed and promulgated in December 2018.

One of Odep’s main concerns is the fi nancing of the projects included in the new President’s 100-day emergency program. “These expenses are orchestrated outside the public expenditure chain and therefore without any control. More than 75% of public expenditure has been executed in emergency procedure, thus overriding the established rules and outside the appropriations voted by Parliament, “Odep continues.

The NGO also notes “the laxity of the fi nancial authorities, which has led to out-of-the-ordinary performance and the running costs of the institutions that have been soaring.” A combination that raises fears that the state budget will engulfs on a soapy slope that could put public fi nances in the bright red and thus weaken the macro-economic edifice of the DRC. From January to March 2019, the budget deficit recorded is 151.1 million US dollars. A figure that should actually be much more important when we know that public spending was paid 42.46% higher in the first quarter, says the Odep which points to the operating expenses of the presidency of the Republic which have exceeded 120% in the first quarter.

Decreasing revenue

“During the same period, the expenditures of political institutions, including the Presidency of the Republic (18 million US dollars), the Primature (6.1 million US dollars), the National Assembly (17.1 US dollars), the Senate (US $ 5.2 million), provincial governorates and provincial assemblies (US $ 167.2 million) cost the state treasury about US $ 213.6 million, “the report states. The reduction of these expenses could facilitate the construction of schools and hospitals, the rehabilitation of roads, etc. “.

The Odep report notes that no financial regulation has reached its objectives in the first quarter of 2019. “Corruption, tax evasion, illegal exemptions, interference by military and police personnel are facts which Congolese State of the means it needs, “reads the document. While institutional spending has been increasing rapidly since the beginning of the year, those of the social sectors are decreasing. The deficits recorded since the beginning of the year will inevitably weigh on the possibility of making investments. Once again, it would be social spending that could be undermined, further digging social inequalities, … “despite the good intentions of the President of the Republic,” Odep continues.

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