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Parliament warns govt on high appetite for petroleum fund

President Yoweri urged leaders to keep mobilizing and educating people on other subjects of wealth creation than focusing on his oil. (PHOTO/FILE)

KAMPALA – Legislators on the Parliamentary Budget Committee have warned the Executive to contain their appetite for the oily funds before production kicks off with calls to have an investment plan put in place for the utilization of the petroleum funds before the resources are depleted.

In a report presented by the Budget Committee Chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi, he revealed that the Committee discovered that the Government had not put in place a Petroleum Investment Framework as envisaged by the Public Finance Management Act 2015, to guide the Investment of funds from the Petroleum Fund.

He said: “Government should without delay put in a place a Petroleum Investment Framework to guide the investment of Funds from the Petroleum Revenue Investment Reserve.”

The Committee recommendation followed evidence before Parliament that showed that as of end of December 2018, the value of the Fund stood at Shs288,748b with documents indicating that the reduction in the fund value from Shs470.416 reported in June 2018 to the current Shs288.748b was due to the transfer of Shs200Bn to the Uganda Consolidated Fund to finance the FY 2018/19 budget as per the appropriation and fund inflows of about Shs70.416b.

The fund value as at 31st December 2018 stood at Shs288,748,365,674 down from Shs470,416,163,220 as at 30th June 2018.

Lugoloobi told Parliament: “It is noted that the fund is not growing because there is a high appetite to utilize petroleum funds to finance the budget. However, it is not clear what the money from the Petroleum Fund is spent on contrary to Section 59(3) of the PFMA 2015.”

Additionally, the Committee also faulted Uganda Revenue Authority for holding onto Shs2.5b due to the Fund as a receivable as at 31st December 2018 with the MPs warning URA from holding Petroleum funds or remitting the funds directly to the consolidated fund.

The Committee Chairperson said: “Petroleum funds collected by URA, PAU and any other government agency should be submitted to the petroleum fund without undue delay.”

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