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BUDGET WATCH

Parliament approves Shs32.7Trillion budget

Minister of Finance, Hon. Matia Kasaija (FILE PHOTO)

PARLIAMENT: MPs of the 10th Parliament have this morning finally approved the Shs32.7Trillion after a back and forth suspensions of the plenary sittings with the process being marred with delays and confusion in the budget figures.

The passing of the Shs32.7trillion 2018/2019 national budget today, followed the failure by Parliament to meet the 31st May deadline that was set out in the Public Finance and Management Act.

Of this, Government is set to allocate Shs13,100,874,742,000 for Development expenditure, while Recurrent expenditure will account for Shs9,434,426,500,000 and statutory expenditure Shs10,167,513,811,000

On how the budget is to be financed, Government is expecting to raise Shsl6.4Trn in 2018/2019 in revenue which is equivalent to revenue to GDP ratio of 14.3% compared to Shs15.2tri11ion that was collected in 2017/2018.

However, despite the increase in revenue collections, the Budget Committee of Parliament in its report on the 2018/2019 budget estimates noted that the revenue budget collections are below the Sub Saharan average of 16% and the low domestic revenue as a ratio to GDP, blaming this on the nature of Uganda’s economy that is largely informal in nature.

Despite calls of the sector players calling for increase of funding to the tourism sector, Government declined to adhere to the calls with the tourism sector coming out as the least funded, accounting for only 0.4% of the national cake.

But this time around, the Water & Environment is the biggest gainer in the budget, having witnessed a 66% increment, while the Science and Technology has been upgraded to a full-fledged sector.

In terms of sectoral allocations, as has been the case in the previous budgets, Works and Transport is set to get the lion share with funds to a tune of Shs4.8Trn.

Energy and Mineral Development will follow close with Shs2.46Bn, Education Shs3.12Bn while Security is set to receive Shs2.12Trn and Health 2.36Trn, while Government has earmarked Shs8.7Trn for Interest Payments or Treasury Operations.

On the other hand, Justice Law & Order is set to get Shs1,41Trn, Accountability is allocated Shs1.23Trn and Public Sector Management is set to receive Shs1.82Trn

Further, Agriculture has also witnessed an increase to Shs914.7Bn, Water and Environment Shs1.27Trn, Public Administration is expected to receive Shs595.7Bn, while Legislature receives 459.60Bn.

Lands, Housing & Urban Development will receive Shs222.35Bn, Social Development 209.38Bn, ICT & National Guidance Shs181.07Bn, while Tourism, Trade and Industry has been allocated Shs158.29Bn and Science and Technology 209.31Bn.

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