KAMPALA: Members of Parliament on Wednesday scoffed at government’s supplementary budget request of Shs377 billion to cater for the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Lands even when the financial year is over a month away from coming to an end.
The money requested for is meant for the classified security expenditure and to clear debts owed to National Housing and Construction Company by the Ministry of Lands.
However, MPs demanded that there should be a time limit on when supplementary budgetary requests should end. Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru wondered when government will spend the requested money in the remaining month of the financial year.
“We should have a cut-off for presenting supplementary schedules. For purposes of orderliness, we should keep off these supplementary schedules,” Mr Mwiru said.
Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi said the Shs377b supplementary budget in this time is too much given the little time left before the current financial year ends.
“We passed a supplementary of over Shs170b. Today we are working on the budget process for the next financial year and now if we have only one month to go and you start bring supplementary budgets, that means we are distorting the budget of 2017/18 and yet Parliament passed that budget knowing what we were doing,” Mr Mafabi said.
The Security docket has already been allocated Shs1.4 trillion in the 2017/18 budget and MPs said adding the supplementary is already too much.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga tasked Parliament’s Finance Committee to look into the request and inform the House.
The Auditor General’s report for the 2015/16 Financial Year faulted the Defence ministry over failing to account for Shs3b spent on tyres, fuel and land transactions. Auditors found that UPDF procurements worth Shs3b had no supporting documents.
The army reported that it had spent Shs389m out of the Shs3b to buy 100,000 litres of fuel, but provided no evidence of delivery.