Madagascar: Civil Society Criticizes the 2024 Budget Development Process

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

President Andry Rajoelina is set to promulgate the 2024 budget law, outlining the state budget for the upcoming year. On December 26, the High Constitutional Court urged the government to remove Article 20, deemed non-compliant with the country’s supreme law. However, the highly strategic document, examined amid an electoral context, was adopted by parliamentarians without amendment or lengthy debates. This, according to civil society, signifies a rushed process.

With just a day and a half of work in the National Assembly and only a morning in the Senate, Madagascar’s 2024 budget law easily cleared all stages toward promulgation. The final approval by the High Constitutional Court states that the text is by the Constitution, except for one provision.

Article 20 envisaged the creation of a fee for exporting “handmade” products, a tax reserved for Malagasy artisans in exchange for certified manually crafted products. However, the High Constitutional Court argued that by setting the modalities of this tax itself, the government was arrogating rights reserved for Parliament.

Beyond this legal debate, Hony Radert, a member of civil society and an expert in the study of budget laws, laments a hastily adopted text: “For example, why has the budget for the Ministry of National Defense been increased again? What is the objective, especially when the budget for Education and Health is barely touched in terms of allocations? These are prioritizations that the government should explain and justify. We know the importance of this document and its impact on citizens’ lives and possibilities for positive or non-positive impact. At the moment, we see a lot of money being spent, and not necessarily positive impacts on the daily lives of the population.”

The presidency is expected to promulgate the 2024 budget law by December 29 at the latest, with no changes, except for Article 20, which the High Constitutional Court requests to be withdrawn.

Soukaina Sghir

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