A Cabinet Meeting was held on Wednesday 03 April 2019 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. Following a very deep prayer from His Excellency the President of the Republic imploring blessings upon the new building housing the offices of the Presidency, those who will work there and whoever will enter it, the Council has analyzed the following items :
1. Bill pertaining to the General Budget of the Republic of Burundi for the Financial Year 2019/2020, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.
This Finance Bill for the 2019/2020 Financial Year comes in a context characterized by an economic recovery at the international level. At the national level, this project is prepared in a context marked by a moderate recovery of the economy and the continuation of careful fiscal policy and prioritization in the management of the state budget.
Indeed, the implementation of the current State Budget is characterized by several requests for additional funds, which shows clearly that the budgets allocated to the various ministries and institutions were not sufficient to meet their needs, hence the need to address them in order of priority.
It is in this spirit that the preparation of the 2019/2020 Budget was made on the basis of the priorities sent by the different ministries and institutions. To this end, the priorities set out in the National Development Plan 2018-2027, which focuses on growth sectors, have been taken into account.
Thus, in Fiscal Year 2019/2020, the fiscal policy that will be pursued will consist in the continued implementation of the reforms already undertaken to improve the mobilization of internal resources as well as external ones. These resources will be mainly allocated to the priority sectors of the Government as enshrined in the National Development Plan. These are the growth sectors such as the Agriculture, Energy and Mining, and Transport. The defense and security sectors, the social sectors (education, health, etc.), as well as all the other sectors necessary for the development of the country.
In order to increase revenues, further steps will be taken to broaden the tax base, combat fraud and tax evasion, strengthen the collection of arrears, and control exemptions.
For the 2019/2020 Fiscal Year, the total resources of the State’s General Budget are estimated at 1,327.1 billion Fbu against 1,237.1 billion Fbu for the 2018/2019 FY, an increase of 7.3%. As for the expenses, they go from 1,400.7 billion Fbu in 2018/2019 to 1, 516.2 billion Fbu for the Fiscal Year 2019/2020, an increase of 8.2%.
The overall deficit of the 2019/2020 General Budget thus amounts to 189.2 billion Fbu against 163.5 billion Fbu for the 2018/2019 FY, an increase of 25.7 billion Burundi Francs.
According to the macroeconomic and budgetary assumptions for the Fiscal Year 2019/2020, the budgetary independence rate is estimated at 83.6% compared to 81.2% for Fiscal Year 2018/2019.
After a thorough debate on this bill, the Council adopted it with the recommendation that those who have adjustments to propose within their budgets send them to the Minister of Finance for finalization as soon as possible.
2. Draft organic law on the missions, functioning and composition of the National Intelligence Service, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.
This project is the result of a process of reflection and exchange on the modernization of the National Intelligence Service with a view to making it more professional and more effective in its response to the needs of national security. This project also complies with the new Constitution in Article 268.
Despite efforts by the government to ensure national security and the protection of the economy through preventive intelligence, it is imperative to review the legal and institutional framework of the National Intelligence Service to enable the Government to deal with the threats current and potential for its security and economy.
The proposed reform paves the way for the synergy of the National Intelligence Service with other similar intelligence services and partners for a common fight against these threats.
The reform also focuses on the organization and expansion of the National Intelligence Service’s mission to embrace the entire national life in order to fully meet the needs of the citizen. The latter being both involved in the gathering of intelligence and beneficiary.
The National Intelligence Service has long focused on internal threats to the detriment of major threats from outside. The development of external antennas is another aspect of the reform.
In order to make this Service more professional and in line with the new Constitution, the reform calls for the creation of a Training Center for Intelligence Sciences that will provide appropriate training for its managers and agents.
Finally, since the secret nature of the National Intelligence Service does not question the principle of accountability and good governance, the bill proposes the establishment of an internal control body within this structure.
After discussions and debate, the project was adopted with some corrections.
3. Bill amending Law No. 1/5 of 02 March 2006 on the status of staff of the National Intelligence Service, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.
Responding to threats to the security of the state through active and dynamic intelligence requires, in addition to an appropriate organizational structure, efforts focused on the profile of the personnel required to carry out the missions and its technical qualification.
Thus, the staff of the National Intelligence Service must be constantly trained on the techniques and the practices of accomplishing the missions of this structure in order to face the evolution of the ever increasing threats. Professionalization of staff through appropriate training will shield the National Intelligence Service from criticism and demonization.
The fundamental reform promoted by this bill focuses on the ongoing training of staff as one of the objectives to be achieved in order to strengthen its professionalism. Managers to assume responsibilities as well as new recruits within the National Intelligence Service will have to be trained beforehand on all the missions and the appropriate working techniques.
Moreover, since the staff of the National Intelligence Service work under harsh conditions and are exposed to various and multifaceted risks, they deserve special protection for themselves, their property and their family environment. Their career and treatment must take into account all these elements.
This project comes to answer all these concerns.
Following the analysis of this project, the Council adopted it with some enrichment.
4. Draft Joint Ministerial Order setting out the modalities for the implementation of the project for the modernization of motor vehicle inspection services and the granting of transport permits, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works, Equipment and Territorial Development.
Since 2001, the Government of Burundi has undertaken major reforms to develop and strengthen the capacity of public institutions in the transport sector.
It is within this framework that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in March 2014 between the Ministry in charge of Transport and the Global Smart Technologies Company (GST) Burundi for the modernization, the security and the computerization of the control of technical assistance services and the granting of transport licenses, followed in April 2015 by the signing of a Public-Private Partnership Agreement in relation to these services.
This draft order concretizes the commitments already made by the Government through the two documents mentioned above.
At the end of the discussions and debate, the Council adopted this project with slight corrections.
5. Draft Ministerial Order regulating the convoy agencies of unregistered vehicles entering Burundi, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works, Equipment and Spatial Planning.
The transport sector plays an important role in the country’s economy. This is why the convoy activity of unregistered vehicles entering Burundi deserves special attention because it escapes any regulatory, administrative and fiscal norm. Regulation is therefore necessary to ensure that this activity is carried out in order and by known people.
The purpose of this draft order is to improve the coordination system in the convoy of vehicles entering Burundi and to ensure a complete and correct monitoring in the collection of taxes to be paid to the Treasury. It should be noted that so far the technical services of OBR refer to a 2010 memorandum to clear imported second-hand vehicles.
At the end of the analysis of this project, the Council noted that it deserved to be rethought and returned to ensure in particular that it is not in contradiction with other texts in force.
6. Any Other Business.
• The Minister of Justice, Civil Protection and Keeper of the Seals raised the issue of milk collection centers that buy this milk at low prices while there are private individuals who are willing to offer a better price.
• The Minister of Communication and Media spoke about the issue arising from the broadcast by the National Radio-Television of Burundi - Gabon match beyond the borders of the country when it was not allowed.
• The Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Formation and Local Development recalled that the ceremonies marking the 25th Anniversary of the assassination of President Cyprien NTARYAMIRA will take place on 06 April 2019.
Done at Bujumbura, April 03, 2019
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-