The Budgetary Process
During the imperial period, the government initiated the budget cycle each year on the first day of Tikimt (October ll) by issuing a “call for budget proposals.” Supposedly, the various ministries and agencies adhered to deadlines in completing the budgetary process. These organizations submitted current and capital budget proposals to the Ministry of Finance; the Council of Ministers reviewed all requests. The ultimate power for approval rested with the emperor.
After the revolution, the government developed new guidelines on budget preparation and approval. Addis Ababa issued annual budget “calls” in July or August, with preliminary information and guidance. The new guidelines required ministries and agencies to complete their proposals by January, when budget hearings would begin. The hearings included discussions with ministries in which requests would be aligned with allocations, and justifications for requests would be evaluated. After the ministries submitted their current budget proposals to the Ministry of Finance for review, with a copy to the ONCCP, the ONCCP executive committee would approve, disapprove, or change the requests. Conversely, ministries would send capital budget proposals to the ONCCP with a copy to the Ministry of Finance. The ONCCP would conclude a similar process of budget hearings, which would include a review of adherence to guidelines, justifications for requests, and conformity to investment priorities identified in the national plan. Thus, under the new system, the Ministry of Finance developed the current budget, and the ONCCP developed the capital budget. Draft current and capital budgets prepared by the Ministry of Finance and the ONCCP, respectively, would then be reconciled with estimates of revenues, domestic resources, and other sources of funding such as loans and aid. The consolidated current and capital budgets then would go to the Council of Ministers for review and recommendations. The final approval was the head of state’s prerogative (see Banking and Monetary Policy, this ch.).