On Tuesday 15th September 2020, Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA) organized and facilitated an online meeting to discuss on the draft of the Ministerial Instructions on implementing the Law N˚ 75/2018 of 07/06/2018 determining the sources of revenue and property of decentralized entities. The meeting was attended by budget managers of the districts and the City of Kigali, the Province Executive Secretaries, representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, (MINECOFIN) the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) and Rwanda Revenue Authorities (RRA). The meeting was facilitated by Mr. Ladislas NGENDAHIMANA, Secretary General of RALGA.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Ladislas reminded participants that the meeting was in the context of the meetings regularly organized by RALGA for key stakeholders for Public Finance Management in Local Governments, and in line with its mandate of advocating for its members. For the particular meeting, he said that it aimed at allowing district and City of Kigali to participate in the elaboration of the instructions as the main implementers. On his side, Mr. KARASIRA Ernest, Deputy Commissioner for Regions & Decentralized Taxes at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), commended RALGA for hosting the meeting and for being a key partner for RRA. He reminded that upon publication, the instructions shall replace the existing MoU between RRA and Districts.
An opportunity to address operational issues as well as Auditor General’s report queries
Participants to the meeting discussed various aspects of the draft Ministerial Instructions, with the purpose of coming up with propositions to allow an efficient and effective collaboration between Local Government Entities and RRA. Participants also insisted on the fact that the opportunity to participate in the elaboration of the instructions, should allow to address the various queries regularly raised by the Auditor General’s report, but also operational issues affecting efficient revenue collection. These include limited human and material resources which affect collection of revenues and fees from all tax payers, delayed reports and transfers of collected revenues, as well as inefficiency in updating tax payers’ database.
Wishing to have the instructions operational by October 2020
As a way forward, participants to the meeting established a team to fine-tune and exhaust inputs to the Ministerial Instructions’ draft. The team is composed of representatives of district Chief Budget Managers (District Executive Secretaries and Division Managers for Corporate Services), Province Executive Secretaries, representatives of RRA, MINECOFIN, MINALOC and RALGA. The team will be coordinated by Mr. Ernest KARASIRA, Deputy Commissioner for Regions & Decentralized Taxes at RRA, co-chaired by Mr. Henry Kakooza, Executive Secretary of Rwamagana District and Dean of District Executive Secretaries. The team committed to complete their assignment by Monday 21st September 2020 so that a final document with inputs from Local Government is validated in a follow up meeting scheduled for Thursday 24th September 2020. Considering the importance of the Ministerial Instructions in improving efficiency in revenue collection in Local Government, participants to the meeting expressed their wish to see them operational by October 2020.