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DRC: the Government raises its ambition of the 2020 Budget by 43%.



DRC: the Government raises its ambition of the 2020 Budget by 43%.

The Governor of the Democratic Republic of Congo has just raised by 43% the level of its relative ambition to the level of the draft 2020 Budget under preparation. It has thus increased from US$7 billion to US$10 billion. This resolution was approved at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting on Friday, October 11, 2019.

On the basis of the relevant guidelines given to the Prime Minister by the Head of State, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, following the previous Council of Ministers (of 4 October last), the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Budget was able to enrich the methodological note on revenue and expenditure forecasts for the 2020 financial year currently being prepared under his supervision.

According to the report Jean-Baudouin Mayo Mambeke dispensed with this enriched Note during the meeting of last Friday, which was chaired by the Head of State.

« The Council has raised the hypothesis of a Budget of US$10 billion which aims to achieve the objectives of the Head of State’s vision and the Government’s programme. In parallel with this option, the Council has adopted efficient accompanying measures for maximum revenue mobilization, » said the Government spokesman.

While these measures have not been announced, it is understood that they are part of the tax reforms to be implemented by the Ilunkamba Government.

First of all, it is necessary to mention the expansion of the tax base. This involves, in particular, a
exhaustive identification of taxpayers and taxable persons to enable the financial authorities to have an updated, digitised and dynamic national tax directory.

Hence, the need for the Prime Minister to issue an Order in Council to launch the new Public Revenue channel to be deployed across the country. Objective: to better organize the secure collection of public funds.

Some people then think of strengthening the fight against the leakage of public revenues. It is possible to condition State agents committed to financial authorities by regularly paying their mobilisation bonuses and punishing any kind of tax fraud.

Finally, there is the awareness of fiscal citizenship and the fight against revenue leakage. In this regard, the involvement of the Head of State and all public institutions would play an effective role in this popularization as part of the implementation of tax reforms, including the simplification of the tax system.

President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi remains firm on the increased mobilization of internal resources to enable the Government to have the means of its policy to meet the expectations of the Congolese people.

He reiterated this again at the last meeting of the Council of Ministers.

However, the decision of the budgetary authority will be expected, once this preliminary draft has been approved and transmitted to Parliament, on one of three options, namely: maintaining the same level by reallocating allocations; downward revision to avoid unrealistic budget estimates; and/or an increase to over US$10 billion to force the Government to strictly apply its accompanying measures.

Increasing tax revenues and their qualitative allocation is an imperative for the economic and financial governance of DR Congo. This is one of the necessary but not sufficient conditions to motivate the Bretton Woods institutions to support the efforts of the Congolese Government. They want results.

According to credible sources, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes that the Government should justify orthodox management of public finances, the macroeconomic framework and structural reforms in order to benefit, in the very short term, from a formal programme with technical assistance and financial support.

At the World Bank, the demands seem to be in line with pushing the Congolese Executive to implement half of the structural reforms in record time. However, if their proposed budget support goes up to US$1.5 billion over three years, the IMF comfort rating will condition the World Bank’s decision.

Currently, each of these Bretton Woods institutions is considering the possibility of strengthening bilateral cooperation and/or the formal programme with DR Congo. But also to unlock their support for the various growth-generating projects across the country.


On the same subject :

Luc Gérard Nyafe: « the Head of State shares the requirements of the Bretton Woods institutions ».

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DRC: the « education » project will be submitted to the WB Board of Directors in February 2020



DRC: Education project to be submitted to World Bank Board in February 2020

The Government’s emergency project on free « Basic Education » will be submitted to the World Bank’s Executive Board in February 2020. According to the Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem, preparations are being intensified to ensure that this deadline is met.

« We are working very quickly on this education project. And we plan to bring this project to our Council as early as February. Regarding the height of the amount, we are in the process of making evaluations. It’s going to be a big amount, around a billion US dollars, » he told reporters at the end of his meeting with the Congolese delegation led by Finance Minister José Sele Yalaghuli.

Indeed, this emergency project is part of World Bank support for the Government’s efforts to provide free basic education, the implementation of which began last September.

To relieve the pressure on public finances to allocate at least US$25-37 million each month, the World Bank has pledged to support the Congolese Government in this regard. line with the commitment of the Head of State, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, and the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, the Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, has clearly indicated the Congolese Government’s firm desire to see the process speed up so that funds are released within an acceptable time frame.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » he said at a previous meeting with the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With regard to the health coverage programme, Hafez Ghanem reiterated his institution’s commitment to continue working alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in the fight against Ebola.


He added: « We will also work with the Government on a new health programme to strengthen basic health centres and improve access to health across the country. »

However, he gave no indication of the amount of funding for this health programme, especially since it is currently under study.

As a reminder, the delegations of DR Congo and the World Bank held a working meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 in Washington DC. Experts from both sides, led by José Sele Yalaghuli and Hafez Ghanem respectively, reviewed ongoing projects within the World Bank portfolio and those under preparation.

In addition to education and health, projects related to infrastructure, connectivity (roads) and the digital economy were also discussed.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington

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DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality



DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality

The President of the Republic launched his Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality in Kinshasa on Wednesday 16 October at the site of my valley in the commune of Mongafula.

This Programme aims to ensure that twenty million Congolese living in rural and peri-urban areas in the 145 territories of our country leave poverty or extreme poverty within the next 5 years.

It has three components: improving rural and peri-urban populations’ access to basic socio-economic infrastructure and services; promoting rural and peri-urban economies; and building capacity in managing for development results at the national, provincial and local levels.

The first component aims to increase the population’s access to basic services such as housing, electricity through the promotion of micro hydroelectric power plants, drinking water, health and agricultural access roads. This list is not exhaustive.

The second component aims to ensure that people in villages and peri-urban neighbourhoods have improved and stable sources of income and that they consume at least one balanced meal per day. This component will place particular emphasis on promoting inclusive agricultural sectors.

The third component aims to develop a culture of autonomy, which will result in the appropriation of development by the beneficiary populations, the strengthening of self-esteem, meritocracy and a motivated attachment to their living environment.

Substantial resources for this ambitious program!

« The Programme, the main components of which I have just unveiled, requires ambitious funding over several years, » said Félix Tshisekedi, aware of these challenges. In the face of such an ambition, the Head of State asks the Government to spare no effort to explore all possible avenues likely to provide the means for this saving action for the people.

It is with this in mind that the last Council of Ministers adopted the hypothesis of a budget reaching the 10 billion mark.

In addition, Félix Tshisekedi intends to engage the country in far-reaching reforms ranging from the rebuilding of the state with justice as the epicentre to the sectors of national life.

This is how he makes his main focus the fight against anti-values, particularly corruption, embezzlement of public funds, tax fraud, smuggling and tribalism. And all means will be used to ensure that all State revenues are channelled into the Public Treasury.

Finally, to make this programme a success, the President of the Republic is counting on the involvement of all his compatriots, beyond the divisions.

Harris Kasongo

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DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank



DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank

The economic situation in DR Congo is the focus of a meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington DC. The Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, leads the delegation of Congolese experts.

In his presentation, the national silversmith described a macroeconomic framework for DR Congo that has remained stable.

Despite accumulated deficits of 420 billion Congolese francs at the end of September 2019, domestic prices and the exchange rate fluctuated slightly. And at this rate, the Government reports inflation of 4.2% at the end of December 2019, which is below the 7% end of period forecast level.

Referring to the strategic and political orientations of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Minister Sele Yalaghuli cited in particular the tightening of public spending in order to limit deficits and the subscription of treasury bonds with the ambition of mobilizing 150 billion CDF by the end of 2019 to fill the gaps.

The first results are promising, especially since a small monthly budget surplus was recorded at the end of September 2019.

Moreover, added Sele Yalaghuli, the third orientation concerns the Government’s firm commitment to pursue the implementation of reforms with the support of partners to remove obstacles sector by sector and to be able to remedy them.

With regard to cooperation between the Congo DR and the Bretton Woods institutions. After the break-up of the formal programme with the IMF in 2012, the ongoing recovery strategy of the current discussions is based on two options.

First, the interim program. Then, the formal program. If the first one will cover the preparation period of the second one, the conclusion of the formal programme could take place after the third quarter of 2020.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » José Sele Yalaghuli said, addressing the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With the World Bank, experts from DR Congo are working on preparations and options to initiate disbursement of funds for the Government’s priority sectors on are: basic education and universal health coverage.

This interaction with World Bank teams continued, with Hafez Ghanem, Vice President in charge of the Africa region, as the focus.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington DC

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