11.04.2013

PM Issues Guidelines To Ministers: “the draft FY 2014 Public Investment Budget”;

By Kimeng Hilton, Cameroon Tribune, 03-11-2013

Below is the final communiqué from the October 2013 cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Philemon Yang.


The Prime Minister, Head of Government  Mr Philemon  Yang  on  Thursday 31 October 2013 as from 11:00 a.m. in the main building of the Prime Minister’s Office, chaired an important Cabinet Meeting. In attendance were the Vice Prime Minister, Ministers of State, Ministers, Minister-Delegate and Secretaries of State.
Proceedings centred on the evaluation of the first year of implementation of the programme budgeting format and ownership of the FY 2014 Finance Bill. The following two statements were presented in that regard:
  1. a statement by the Minister for Finance on: “ the Stakes and Perspectives FY 2014 Finance  Bill” ;
  2. a statement by the Minister for the Economy, Planning and Regional Development on: the draft FY 2014 Public Investment Budget”;

The Minister for Finance began by assessing the first months of implementation of the new programme budgeting format, effective on 1 January 2013. He stressed that implementation of the State budget significantly improved over the months, especially in terms of capital expenditure. This was thanks to stakeholder ownership of the new integrated budget management system and new public procurement procedure instituted. He revealed that the budgetary item: fuel price subsidy, will attain CFAF 420 billion at the end of the fiscal year, or 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Minister went on to indicate that budgetary prospects for FY 2014 are still blighted by the same risks that led to the economic recession experienced worldwide since 2008. Thus, notwithstanding growth projections estimated in 2014 at around 5.9% in the CEMAC area and 4.8% nationally, the assumptions of the 2014 budgetary framework remain cautious.
The strategic objectives of the State financial policy continue to be centred on the promotion of robust, sustainable growth likely to create jobs and the improvement of productivity and the business climate.
The Minister for Finance indicated that like in previous years the budget will be financed by traditional sources such as oil and non-oil resources, resources from international cooperation and tried-and-tested innovative mechanisms like bond issues. With the entry into force of the law on investment incentives whose beneficial effects on the economy will be perceptible in the medium and long terms, tax depreciation will set in as from 2014.
Lastly, he renewed his appeal for greater fiscal discipline in all Government departments through the mastery of staff expenses, an improvement in the quality of routine recurrent expenditure, a stringent management of the State equity-participation and subsidies portfolio, the close monitoring of tax expenditure and  sustained support and accompaniment of local/city councils benefiting from the transfer of powers and resources.
Next, the floor was given to the Minister for the Economy, Planning and Regional Development for complementary details on the investment component of the 2014 Public Investment Budget. He said the lackluster performance of capital expenditure in early 2013 was attributable to the insufficient maturation of projects and poor ownership of budgetary and procurement reforms. However, the remedial measures implemented since have helped to largely catch up with delays observed in the start-up and implementation of projects financed by the public investment budget.
With regard to the stakes of the public investment policy in 2014, he said the target will be to consolidate growth, support decentralization as well as the financing of major projects. This will require a two-fold increase in the general decentralization allotment, devoted to investments, to support the implementation of council development plans (being generalized) and contract-plans with municipalities.
The profile of the public investment budget in 2014 will cross the much-desired mark of 30% of the overall State budget. The envisaged allocation will primarily target energy and road infrastructure, water and sanitation and the formation of land reserves for agro-pastoral and residential use. A significant percentage of resources will also be earmarked for the development of sub-sectors with high potentials and modernization of the production machinery.
After these statements, and pending final arbitration by the President of the Republic on the 2014 draft budget, the Head of Government gave guidelines relating to Government’s passage before Parliament during the session devoted to the debate and passing of the finance bill. He also prescribed measures such as the effective maturation of projects before their insertion in the budget and better programming of public contracts since this will help to surmount the recurrent impediments to the sound implementation of the public investment budget.
The Cabinet Meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m. after consideration of sundry issues linked to Government work./”

Yaounde, 31 October 2013

GHOGOMU Paul MINGO,
Director of the Prime Minister’s

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