KAMPALA – Legislators have on Friday, May 24, voted to pass the Appropriation Bill 2019, setting the pace for the approval of the 2019/2020 national budget that is set to be unveiled to the nation on June 13, 2019, at Kampala Serena hotel by the Minister of Finance.
However, the approval of the budget, just as the current budget didn’t go without some stinging remarks from Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah who raised concerns over the abnormal budgeting process that was characterized with confusion, chaos from the Ministry of Finance.
This year’s budget process has faced hiccups starting right from the ministerial policy statements that failed to be presented on time, ministry of finance tabling corrigendum in last days whereas others have been coming with uncoordinated figures which delayed the passing of the budget.
The Deputy Speaker argued that all the chaos that veiled the budgeting process is a manifestation of financial indiscipline that needs to be checked so as to improve the budgeting process and reduce on the workload brought before the house.
This has been a very abnormal year in terms of processing this budget. But I thank you for the endurance and also for agreeing that the Budget serves a bigger purpose and if we are to go through, we would have difficulties. We all know that we never had ministerial policy statements even a month after the deadline.”
The Deputy Speaker also forced the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa to apologies to the house for the mess the executive has caused to Parliament where the budget committee has been made to work under pressure to bit deadlines of budget.
She acknowledged the mistakes made by her team and called for refresher induction of ministers and MPs at large in between the five years of term to acquaint them with necessary procedures especially in the budgeting process to avoid the unnecessary delays.
Nankabirwa: “I want to thank the opposition for keeping us, checking on us so that we produce a budget that would benefit the entire nation. We have witnessed the spirit of nationalism and I want to pray that we move on with this kind of spirit. I have done two apologies during this process I sincerely stand here to do two apologies we lacked in terms of time frames and promise to do better.”
On March 28, 2019, the Minister of Finance tabled draft estimates of the 2019/2020 national budget which amounted to UGX39,548,172,607,000.
However, on May 9, 2018, the Minister of Finance submitted Corrigenda to the Draft Estimates, and an addendum to the Corrigenda, which revised the total proposed annual budget for FY2019/2020 to UGX40,487,010,903,335 of which UGX27,957,163,419 is for appropriation and UGX12,530,739,916 is for statutory expenditure.
In terms of financing, domestic and external financing will constitute 74.5% and 25.5% of the total resource envelope, respectively.
Uganda Revenue Authority is expected to collect UGX18.83Trn in 2019/2020 from UGX15.94Trn that was earmarked in 2018/2019 indicating 18.1% change with tax revenues set to contribute 47.6% of the national budget.
In terms of Sector allocations, Works and Transport will be the biggest account for 16.2% with the largest Sectoral allocation of Shs6.41Trn, followed by Security at 9.l% of the total Sectoral allocation while the least allocated sector in the budget is ICT & National Guidance Sector accorded 0.3% of the National Budget and the sector with the biggest proposed increment of Shs1.62Trn is the Works and Transport Sector.
Government has set aside UGX3.1Trn for payment of interest on loans, Works & Transport allocated UGX6.41Trn in 2019/2020, Education 3.29Trn, Energy and Mineral Development UGX2.95Trn, Health has been allocated UGX2.53Trn, Public Sector Management allocated Shs789Bn, Security is set to receive UGX3.61Trn, Justice Law & Order will receive UGX1.64Trn, Accountability allocated UGX1.93Trn, Agriculture Shs1.01Trn, Water & Environment allocated UGX1.04Trn among others.