Uganda News

Parliament passes the first post-lockdown budget of Sh48.1 trillion.

Speaker Among shakes hands with MPs as she leaves parliament after the budget debate is completed.

Speaker Among shakes hands with MPs as she leaves parliament after the budget debate is completed.

Continual expenditures
2.3 trillion shillings Shs1.2 trillion, Ministry of Finance Veteran Affairs and the Ministry of Defense
Lands, Housing, and Urban Development: Shs503 billion

Investing in the future
Defense budget: Shs2.3 trillion
Energy costs Shs1.4 trillion, according to the Ministry of Health.
2.5 trillion shillings National Roads Authority of Uganda

The Shs48.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2022/23 has been approved by Parliament, with post-Covid-19 economic recovery at the top of the priority list.

With the theme “Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Employment, and Wealth Creation,” the budget’s estimated revenue base is Shs48.1 trillion.

Recurrent expenditure will be allocated to the Ministries of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs, and Lands, Housing, and Urban Development.

Defence receives Shs2.3 trillion in development funding, Ministry of Health Shs1.4 trillion, and Energy Shs1.4 trillion.

The Uganda National Roads Authority has been given Shs2.5 trillion in development money, demonstrating the importance of infrastructure in the post-Covid19 recovery process.

The economy must be healed from the impacts of Covid-19, according to Henry Musasizi, the Finance State Minister who managed President Museveni’s Budget.

“Our economy has been damaged by shocks such as the Covid-19 pandemic, regional geopolitical tensions, climate change…these changes harmed government’s financial condition through a fall in government revenue,” Musasizi added.

The economy grew by 3.8 percent last fiscal year, versus the expected 3.3 percent, according to Patrick Opolot Isiagi, Chairperson of the Budget Committee.

He attributes the difference to immunization efforts, which he says helped the economy reopen and demand soar, especially in building.

According to MP Opolot, the committee expects a 6% increase in GDP in fiscal year 2022/23.

“In the medium term, growth is projected to go up,” he said, citing gains from the pandemic’s control through vaccination, a recovery in global demand, and a resurgence in foreign direct investment inflows, particularly from oil pipeline construction.

Youth unemployment has climbed to 64% among those aged 18 to 30, according to Opolot, a rise he attributes to the Covid-19 lockdown.

“The country had 1.72 million unemployed youth prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, including 0.362 million graduates” (2020 UBOS Statistical Abstract). “The country’s youth unemployment rate is over 64 percent, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics,” he stated.

The growing public debt, which increased by a stunning 15% from 2020 to December 2021, to Shs73.5 trillion, has also raised cheval.

Debt is expected to climb further, with estimates putting it at more than 52 percent of GDP.

“Poor export growth and rising debt payments characterize the country’s debt sustainability measures,” stated Opolot. “Public debt is rising, with a forecast of 52.9 percent of GDP in 2022/23.”

The Budget Committee was disappointed with the uniform distribution of Shs100 million per parish, claiming that it did not take into consideration the unique dynamics of each parish in Uganda.

According to the Committee report, “each parish has been allotted Shs100 million under the Parish Revolving Fund; this uniform allocation does not take into account various socioeconomic, geographical, and population dynamics.”

On public investment, the committee said that the Shs319.5 billion allocated to the stalled Lubowa Hospital should be utilised to meet other critical needs in the sector.

The withdrawal of Treasury Operations has been advocated by MPs, who believe it is an over-allocation of funds that should be directed to other areas.

Due to uncertainty over the government’s shares and dividends on the facility, the committee rejected a planned donation of Shs84 billion to Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort.

Mwine Mpaka, the Chairperson of the Committee on Trade, stated that Shs12 billion in facility allocations had gone missing, as well as important Ministry of Finance documentation.

“Shs12b is still missing…

Munyonyo’s revenues have vanished; we just visited with Finance State Minister Henry Musasizi and heard that documents related to Munyonyo had been stolen from the Ministry of Finance,” MP Mpaka remarked.

In a Minority Report, Shadow Finance Minister Muwanga Kivumbi agreed with the withholding of the allocation to Munyonyo, citing corporate governance flaws as the cause of the government’s financial loss.

“All funds invested in Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited should be converted to shares; Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) nominates a board representative and the Board of Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited is fully constituted; Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited has the most recent Annual Report and Financial Statements,” said MP Kivumbi.

Muwanga Kivumbi opposed granting cash to build roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo, arguing that the funds should instead be utilized to purchase domestic road equipment.
“At least 20% of all infrastructure projects should be reallocated for operations and maintenance within any given financial year,” he said, adding that “Shs80 billion should be shifted from DRC road development to pay road maintenance across the country.”

Speaker Anita Among has asked MPs to closely monitor the budget as it is passed by Parliament, scrutinizing the product and its impact on individuals’ lives.

“What we need to do is make sure we’re carrying out our oversight responsibilities, passing the money, and doing our job as Members of Parliament…

What’s left is oversight; you’ll need to keep track of where this money, Shs48 trillion, is going, how it’s being spent, and what we’ll get out of it,” she continued.

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