Kampala. Unlike in the past when government could borrow extra funds to raise money for public expenditure, this time around, the Ministry of Finance has said it will instead cut public spending in case Uganda Revenue Authority fails to collect the required revenue.
The Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, said government will not spend beyond the approved budget by Parliament in spite of the period being an election year.
“Since the beginning of this fiscal year, we have not overspent... If it means or happens that the money is not enough in the Treasury, we shall instead cut government spending,” he said during the launch of the Open Budget Survey Result by Uganda Debt Network at the ministry headquarters yesterday.
The ministry is administering this year’s Budget using the Public Finance Management Act 2015, which became operational on March 16.
Through the Public Finance Act 2015, all government accounts have been integrated into single Treasury Account unlike in the past when government had different accounts for different ministries.
Mr Muhakanizi said all public spending is based on the new law, which is aimed at improving accountability.
“Government has made good progress by putting in place a number of measures to improve service through greater transparency. The budget website, for instance, provides the public with detailed information on how public money is being spent,” he said.
However, Mr Muhakanizi said government has failed to pay pension money to pensioners for the last three months because of failure by the accounting officers and ministry of Public Service to reconcile various pensioners’ accounts for the Treasury to release the money.
Uganda tops EA in survey
The Open Budget Index Survey ranked Uganda highest in East Africa and ranks number three in Africa with 62 out of 100 against the overall average score of 45 out of 100. The senior programme officer governance and rights, Ms Imelda Namagga, said Uganda should publish a citizens budget to increase the comprehensiveness of the executive’s Budget proposal by presenting more information on the classification of revenues for the budget year.