Addis Ababa July 10/2017 Some Ethiopian opposition political parties have urged the government to ensure fair utilization of the new budget approved for this fiscal year by the House of People’s Representatives.
Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) Chairperson, Ayele Chamiso told ENA that budget allocation is not an achievement by itself and the government has to exert efforts to monitor and evaluate the huge budget misappropriation.
The government has to take strong measures on those institutions which misused the country’s budget by setting mandatory rules and principles of transparency and accountability, he insisted.
“The country has been building huge infrastructures, factories and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, among others. However, recent reports from the Auditor General revealed that some institutions have illegally consumed considerable amount of budget allocated for their operations. The budget could have been used to cover some of the remaining expenses for the construction of GERD”, the Chairperson added.
On the other hand, Dr. Teshome Adugna, a respected economist countered by saying that allocation of a huge budget indicates that its economy is gaining momentum.
The approved national budget is over 320 billion birr budget, exceeding the last one by more than 9 percent.
The economist stated that “according to recent reports, the GDP of Ethiopia has reached 78 to79 billion USD while Kenya’s GDP is 75 billion USD. So if the countries have strong budget allocation it indicates strong economy”, Teshome argued.
According to him, strong economic spending would imply strong economic management. This kind of budget allocation demonstrates the ongoing growth in Ethiopia and the fundamental changes that the country has registered in recent years.
President of the other opposition party, Ethiopian Raey Party, Teshale Sebero on his part said corruption and deviations from financial rules have to be addressed appropriately and those institutions and organizations found to be trespassing the regulations be hold accountable.
The government has to reprimand trespassing enterprises and ministries and hold them accountable based on their budget performance reports. The government has, however, failed to take measures on those institutions which ignore rules and regulations, the President alleged.
Budget Preparation and Administration Director at Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), Teferi Demeke said a new regulation which targets to establish proper public financial administration and hold accountable those bodies which misuse public finance has been implemented to ensure efficient budget utilization effective from March 2017.
“With such activities and taking best practices, better financial management is expected in the coming years starting from the new budget year”, the Director added.
Commenting on the recent report of the Office of Federal Auditor General, he said the report is being assessed and evaluated by a committee pertinent to the issue.
Besides, providing training and technical support for respective institutions and the financial freedom given to auditors of institutions who are accountable to MoFEC will radically improve the situation, Teferi noted.