As government prepares to unveil the 2021-2022 budget come June 2021, the country is faced with lots of challenges. This also comes at a time when we have just emerged from a general election which had adverse effects on the several sectors of the economy.
Getting into the new financial year, government should prioritise helping sectors which have been greatly affected by the pandemic because these are the ones who end up paying lots of taxes in the long run.
These include operators of private educational institutions, those in the hospitality and entertainment sector, those in the manufacturing sector especially the local manufacturers and those in the agricultural sector ,especially those doing it at commercial scale. These have laboured to operate amid several challenges.
The government should offer stimulus packages to these sectors, especially through enabling them access cheap funds through the Uganda Development Bank.
Unfortunately, as the budget projections take centre stage, it’s shocking that much concentration has been put to other sectors like security which have had their budget estimates doubled.
The way forward for this country after these turbulent times is to support the crippled sectors that have been greatly affected, they do employ majority of the population. Once they stabilise, the country will be able to at least fund 70 per cent of the Shs42 trillion 2021-2022 budget.
The other option to support the economic recovery is to limit the importation of products to enable our local investors to compete favourably and in the end, realize the needed economic potential.
This has been done in neighbouring Kenya where several associations have reportedly tasked their government to restrict the importation of produce like poultry and milk products.
The need to push the East African market agenda has to be reviewed during these times simply because Ugandans are now losing out in the long run.
Most of our products are finding it hard to access the East African Market on the premise of quality issues but in my view, I think East African member states are restraining imports in order to enable their local investors to compete favourably.
There are no reasons why Ugandan sugar products and poultry products continue to be sidelined in some of these countries.