Govt releases Shs1.4t for salaries, contractors

Finance ministry Permanent Secretary Ramathan Ggoobi addresses local government accounting officers in Kampala on Monday. PHOTO / MINISTRY OF FINANCE

What you need to know:

  • In a letter dated May 20, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, wrote to all accounting officers, informing them of the allocation.

The government has paid its contractors at least Shs827b in a new supplementary budget while Shs617b has been paid out to cater for salary shortfalls for the rest of the financial year, security-related expenditure, external financing and locally raised revenue by local governments.

In sum, government has paid out at least Shs1.4 trillion.

The allocations are contained in an approved second supplementary schedule for FY2021/2022 of the fourth quarter.

In a letter dated May 20, a copy of which this reporter has seen, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, wrote to all accounting officers, informing them of the allocation.

However, the allocation doesn’t specify how much will be spent on salaries, contractors and other outstanding debts.

Parliament had on May 20 approved a second supplementary budget schedule for FY2021/2022 amounting to only Shs617.947b.

However, Mr Ggoobi noted that he received requests from several ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for additional funding to clear outstanding certificates and invoices, as well as contractual obligations amounting to Shs826.77b.

“..accordingly, I have provided Shs1,465.465 billion to meet the above related expenditures, in order to ensure that the government meets its obligations and avoid accumulation of domestic arrears for supplementary expenditure next financial year,” he wrote.

Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) has taken the lion’s share with Shs352b followed by the Ministry of Works and Transport (Shs132b). The Ministry of Defence is in the third position with Shs115b.

The Ministry of Water and Environment and the Uganda Road Fund (URF) have received Shs101b each while the Office of the President received Shs90b. State House was given Shs79b.

The other allocation was shared by other agencies, public universities and hospitals.

Appeal

Mr Ggoobi asked accounting officers to prioritise all outstanding certificates/invoices and contractual obligations in the funding.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to communicate the additional expenditure limits for the Fourth Quarter and to request you to submit accounting warrants not later that Wednesday [yesterday] 1 June 2022 at the latest,” the letter reads.

The letter is also copied to Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija, Auditor General John Muwanga and Head of Public Service Lucy Nakyobe, among others.

The deputy chairperson of the budget committee, Mr Ignatius Mudimi Wamakuyu, confirmed that the additional Shs800b was approved by the House.

He noted that it was discussed on the floor of Parliament because MPs on the Budget committee were time-barred since they were already processing the budget for 2022/2023.

“The matter was referred to the committee but the timing was bad. We had to suspend the rule and discuss it on the floor of Parliament and it was passed by MPs,” he said yesterday.

On where the government got the additional Shs800b from, Mr Wamakuyu said the money was in the budget but payment was only being delayed by the verification process hence it kept rolling to the next financial year.

Background

Last month, Finance minister Matia Kasaija told this newspaper that money in a supplementary budget is allocated according to priorities.

 “At the time of disbursement, there could be other priorities and like I said, I operate a cash budget and if the priorities are high and I don’t have sufficient revenue then I will be forced to borrow,” he said.

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