KAMPALA – The Parliament of Uganda has passed a budget proposal of Ugx49.98trn for Financial Year 2023/2024.
The passing of the Budget Framework Paper is in line with the requirement of the Public Finance Management Act that sets February 1as deadline for parliament to approve it.
The passing of the draft budget in a plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa on Tuesday followed a debate by Members of Parliament on the Budget Committee reports on the framework and the budget performance respectively.
The proposed budget will be financed through domestic revenue equivalent to Ugx28.8trn, budget support amounting to Ugx2.4trn, domestic borrowing Ugx1.6trn and external project support of Ugx8trn.
The other sources are, domestic refinancing of Ugx8.7trn and local revenue for local government of Ugx238.5b.
Government’s key priorities are starting the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway and finalisation of the rehabilitation of the Meter Gauge Railway under the Integrated Transport programme.
Government also intends to invest in small-scale solar-powered irrigation as well as addressing climate change and food security under the Agro Industrialisation Programme.
The other priorities are constructing power service stations and transmission lines under the Sustainable Energy Development programme and capitalisation of Uganda Development Bank – UDB and Uganda Development Corporation -UDC to continue supporting private sector development, recovery and economic transformation under the Private Sector Development.
Kashonzi County legislator, Herbert Tayebwa warned against the high expenditure against government’s low revenue.
He said that Uganda should only borrow for investment but not consumptive expenditures.
The Leader of the Opposition – LoP, Mathias Mpuuga noted that the Budget Framework Paper was silent on the high interest rates on loans – wondering how much the country was paying annually as debt repayment for Karuma Hydro Power Dam.
The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa expressed worry about the reducing discretionary expenditure despite the growth in revenue estimates.
“This means that we shall have limitations in using our appropriation power to reallocate the budget. For every Ugx100 collected, over Ugx37 is spent on servicing debts,” observed Tayebwa.
The Deputy chair , Budget Committee – Wamakuyu Mudimi said that the proposed budgets towards programmes that contribute directly to value addition is only 5.6 per cent of the total budget and only 4.7 per cent of the total budget has been allocated to programmes that contribute towards strengthening of the capacity of the private sector.
Government will now revise the budget estimates based on Parliament’s recommendations and present final estimates to the House by March 15, 2023 for the final budgeting process.