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EALA Approves EAC Budget

East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, June 5, 2014: EALA has today debated and approved the EAC Budget totalling $124, 216, 995 as the House adjourned this afternoon.

With it, EALA also passed the Appropriation Bill 2014 and the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2014 respectively.

The object of the EAC Appropriation Bill, 2014 is to make provision for the appropriation out of the budget for the specified amount of money for the services and purposes of the Community for the financial year ending 30th of June 2015.

The 2014/2015 Budget amounting to USD 124,069, 625 is allocated to the Organs and Institutions of the EAC as follows; East African Community Secretariat ($76,074,052), East African Legislative Assembly ($15,489,836) and the East African Court of Justice ($4,582,190). The Inter-University Council for East Africa shall receive ($ 9,411,320), Lake Victoria Basin Commission ($ 13,372,466) while $ 2,813,771 is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation.   For the first time, three new EAC Institutions are also set to benefit.   East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive ($ 679,821), East African Kiswahili Commission ($ 722,102) and the East African Health Research Commission ($ 924,067).

The FY 2014/2015 Budget is to be financed by Partner State contributions through the Ministries of EAC ($41,890,538); Partner States through other agencies ($5,067,735); Development Partners support ($73,180,446);  IUCEA-Member University ($ 375,190) Ministry of Education-IUCEA Headquarters $1,247,037), General Reserve ($ 2,102,828) and other income ($205,850).

The acting Chair of the Council, Shem Bageine today also moved a motion for the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (No 2), 2014 of USD 147,370. The said amount is required for the financial year ending 30th June 2014 for the expenditure of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission incurred on the USAID/EA Support to the co-ordination of the integrated population, health and Environment programme.

The Budget Speech was presented yesterday by the Deputy Minister of EAC in the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon Dr. Abdalla Sadallah Abdallah.

The 2014/2015 Budget down from $130 Million in the previous Financial Year, prioritizes operationalisation of the single Customs Territory including the setting up of an institutional framework to manage it, the full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol with particular focus on free movement of goods, services, labour and capital as well as the implementation of the EAC Industrialisation policy.

The House today resolved into the Committees of Ways and Means and Supply to consider and approve the Financial Statement for 2014/15 and the revised estimates of expenditure respectively.

Yesterday, the Report of the Committee on General Purpose on the EAC Budget estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year 2013/14 was presented by the Chair of the Accounts Committee, Hon Dr. Martin Nduwimana.

The Committee denotes some of the key achievements of the Financial Year 2013/2014 as instituting the framework for the operationalisation of the Single Customs Territory and that of the completion of the Technical negotiations of the East African Monetary Union Protocol.

Hon Nduwimana’s report also mentions of the progress of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), which is expected to be launched in June 2014.  On infrastructure, a number of achievements include the completion of the detailed designs of the Arusha-Holili-Voi road and enactment of the One Stop Border Post Bill and the Vehicle Load Control Bill which are currently undergoing assent.  

The Committee further calls for contingency allocation for the Office of the Secretary General in order to properly anticipate unforeseen expenditure and recommends establishment of a budget line for periodic risk management and mitigating interventions.

It further avers on the need to strengthen the Corporate and Communications Department at the EAC and the allocation of more funding earmarked for sensitisation.

The General Purpose Committee is also of the view that the Finance and Administration Committee of the Council is purely an Advisory arm and should act as such.

‘It should make decisions that are only within its terms of reference as an Advisory body,’ a section of the report says.

The Committee also recommends the need to create a fund to enable the implementation of Summit directives, Council decisions as well as EALA recommendations to make the bloc more effective.  In this regard, it recommends that the Council of Ministers needs to give the Secretary General flexibility to determine up to 2% of the budget for unplanned exigencies.

As a matter of principle, the Committee is calling for measures to check on travel across all the Organs and Institutions of the EAC to ensure that it is necessary and transparent and adds value to the Community. 

The motion was supported by twenty legislators who debated on the matter. The House has meanwhile adjourned sine die.