Friday July 14 2017

Ugandans urged to seize opportunities in Budget

Left to right: dfcu Bank chief finance officer

Left to right: dfcu Bank chief finance officer Kate Kabaingi Kiiza, Mr Fred Muhumuza, an economist and Mr Edgar Isingoma, a senior partner at KMPG debate the 2017/2018 Budget during the dfcu BAnk post budget breakfast at Kampala Serena Hotel on Tuesday. PHOTO JONATHAN ADENGO 

By Jonathan Adengo

Kampala.

Economic experts have urged Ugandans to seize opportunities that government will create through the new budget.

Speaking during a dfcu Bank post budget breakfast at Kampala Serena Hotel on Tuesday, Mr Edgar Isingoma, a senior partner at KMPG, said the Shs4 trillion allocation towards Works and Transport presents opportunities for the local businesses.

“The economy is not dead, we have a growing economy. The allocation to infrastructure is an opportunity,” he said, calling upon businesses to be cautious and review their business models and make sure they can move forward and withstand the tough economic times.

Mr Isingoma also said the public procurement law is being amended to promote local content which will allow businesses to benefit from the large infrastructure projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway and the oil refinery.

The Background to the Budget Report says the economy is estimated to have grown by 3.9 per cent during 2016/17, lower than 4.7 per cent recorded in the previous year.

The decline in growth was attributed to a marginal increase in the budgets for agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors and the prolonged drought across the country.

Mr Gideon Badagawa, the executive director Private Sector Foundation Uganda, said the budget strategy was good but the challenge was in the allocations.

“It was a Shs29 trillion Budget and half of it is going to be mobilised domestically and the rest is going to be borrowed. What is going to be mobilised from within is going to crowd out the private sector. And when you crowd out the private sector even the money they are going to raise through domestic taxes will be hard to get,” he said.

He said the problem with Uganda is production, “…we cannot add value to what we do not produce. Before we can talk about markets, we need to discuss the capacity to produce, as a nation.”

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