Why next year’s budget rose to Shs42 trillion

Tuesday February 25 2020

 

By Moses Kyeyune

The National Budget for the next financial year has been increased by close to two trillion shillings, up from Shs39.6 trillion reflected in the national budget framework paper which was recently approved by Parliament.

The new budget for 2020/2021 is Shs41.9 trillion of which government will contribute Shs33.16 trillion and external funders will provide Shs8.79 trillion.

This is after the ministry of Finance adopted recommendations for additional funding to key sectors, Daily Monitor has learnt.
The additional funding includes Shs25.8b for State House initiatives against poverty; an additional Shs9.5b for the Office of the President for implementation of the APEX Platform and facilitation of Resident District Commissioners.

Other beneficiaries include the Ministry of Education and Sports with Shs10b earmarked for implementation of the new lower secondary school curriculum.

Figures contained in the Final Budget Call Circular issued to all accounting officers by Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to Treasury, and Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary indicate that the Electoral Commission (EC) will get an additional Shs146b for 2020/2021 elections. Of this, Shs11.8b is for operationalisation of EC regional and district offices while Shs134.2b is for election-related activities.

Early this month, Parliament adopted the Budget Framework paper, the main budget forecast tool. The House directed that government finds measures of covering the Shs1.8 trillion shortfall for critical areas.

Advertisement

With the 2021 polls drawing close, there is fear that some money is being channelled through the budget to support President Museveni’s campaigns.

Under State House, for instance, there is alleged ‘duplicated’ funding of Shs7.3b for Poverty Alleviation Initiatives (village model) and another Shs18.5b for mass mobilisation against poverty.

There is also Shs1.1b under the Ministry of Defence towards eradication of human trafficking, a task meant for the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development as well as the ministry of Internal Affairs.

During the debate of the Budget Framework Paper, MPs also questioned the Shs40b earmarked for Affirmative Action Programmes under the Office of the Prime Minister alone and Shs18b for water production in Karamoja.

Mr Muhakanizi has since directed that domestic revenue streams will have to be tightened in order to raise adequate resources to support the budget.

Under the new arrangement, all ministries and statutory agencies such as Uganda National Examinations Board, National Medical Stores, regional referral hospitals, Uganda Wildlife Authority and others must collect and remit Non-Tax Revenue to the Uganda Consolidated Fund.
“No vote will be exempted from this policy as such for planning and budgeting purposes, accounting officers must submit realistic revenue projections for NTR for appropriation by Parliament,” Mr Muhakanizi said.

He also directed all accounting officers to submit draft ministerial policy statements to the Equal Opportunities Commission before Friday, March 5, 2020, “to facilitate the Commission to undertake timely assessment of your policy statements and issue our respective votes with certificates of Gender and Equity Compliance.”

The documents are expected to be presented to Parliament on March 12 in fulfilment of the requirement by the Public Finance Management Act which stipulates March 15 as a deadline.

mkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com

Advertisement