KAMPALA – The Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development has restricted foreign trips to only the executive, judiciary, and Parliament.
The new restrictions were contained in a Second Budget Call Circular for Financial Year 2023/2024 issued by Ramathan Ggoobi -the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance on Saturday.
In the circular, Ggoobi also indicated that there would be no borrowing for the next financial year 2023/24. During this period, no government entity shall receive an increase in the budget.
Equally, the government has also frozen the purchase of vehicles during the Financial Year 2023/24 and suspended salary enhancement by one year. The preliminary resource envelope for the 2023/24 financial year has been adjusted upwards to Ugx50.871trn from Ugx47.328trn in FY 2022/23.
It remains a secret when the new directive will be implemented as Matia Kasaija – the Minister of Finance was non-committal while Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja wasn’t readily available to respond.
On February 1, 2022, Parliament passed the Budget Framework Paper of Ugx49.98trn for the next financial year 2023/2024 to be financed through domestic revenue equivalent to Ugcx28.83trn, budget support amounting to Ugx2.491trn, domestic borrowing Ugx1.585trn, external project support worth Ugx8.04trn, domestic refinancing of Ugx8.798trn, and local revenue for local government (AIA) of Ugx238.5b.
Parish Development Model – PDM allocation of Ugx1.059trn maintained in the budget for the 2023/24 financial year PM multi-sectoral strategy to create socio-economic transformation targeting 39% of Ugandan households that are stuck in the subsistence economy.
According to the Ministry of Finance, in order to finance its spending for the 2022/23 financial year notably, the Government proposed a 48.13 trillion Shillings National Budget.
During the extended period of the Covid-19 lockdown by imposed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Government saved over Ugx100b on foreign trips such as trips for medical treatment, conferences, and consultations among others.
According to Parliament’s Committee on Budget and National Economy, during 2020/2021 the period spanning the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government reserved Ugx167.4b in accumulated foreign travel expenses across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies – MDAs.
Arithmetically, dividing the Ugx167.4b by 12 months of the year implies that on average, the Government spends at least Ugx13.9b in foreign travel every month.
During the year under review, the Parliamentary Commission program budget revealed that Ugx420b was allocated exclusively for MPs’ allowances and foreign travel up from Ugx400.7b in 2020/2021.
By the end of last year, with 426 legislators in the 10th Parliament Ugx207b of the Ugx420b allocations had been by end of the financial year.
This was attributed largely to the lockdown that forced many lawmakers to remain in the after other countries shut down to contain the spread of Covid-19.
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