KAMPALA – Parliament has approved a supplementary budget of Shs3.729 trillion just a month into the second quarter of the financial year amid fierce opposition from some MPs who questioned whether government still does thorough budgeting.
According to the approved supplementary budget, UGX1.357 trillion has already been spent within the 3% legal limit, while an extra UGX1.982 trillion has been allocated for classified expenditure and the 223km road project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ministry of Finance among other items.
A total of UGX389.3 billion was approved as well as among other things to cater for Local governments. UGX 357 billion will go towards the transfer of funds from former municipalities to newly created cities. According to the breakdown, UGX 1.1 trillion is going to the Defense and Veterans Affairs Ministry for classified expenditure while State House will get Shillings 450 Billion for classified expenditure.
However, some members questioned why time and again State House keeps on requesting additional money instead of budgeting for its expenditure properly. Ceclia Ogwal, the Dokolo Woman member of parliament why State House continuously asks for more money-making it seem like they have unending needs or the items were unforeseen.
Budadiri West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi said State House needs to present a comprehensive picture of their needs instead of the current trend where there is a supplementary request for State House shortly after the budget approval. He said State House had already received Shillings 400 billion as its budget.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga ruled out the proposal by the two MPs, saying they were debating in anticipation. The House which, started on the debate on the budget committee report on supplementary expenditure schedule No.1 and No.2 and addendum to schedule No.2 approved all of the proposals with the only changes being deferred is the payment of Shillings 30 billion for compensation of cattle lost in Acholi, Lango and Teso region.
The funds were meant to go to war claimants but MPs said the ongoing verification should first be concluded. They also amended the proposal to have Shillings 50 billion of the presidential initiative on wealth and job creation “Emyooga” given to Kampala and Wakiso and instead agreed to distribute it countrywide.
The Ministry of Finance had allocated 615 billion Shillings for Uganda Development Bank to support sectors affected by COVID-19 and 160 billion shillings for the Emyooga project. Shillings 390 Billion was approved for the new cities and Shillings 45 Billion Shillings for Uganda Telecom to pay off a loan.
Ministry of Health will receive Shillings 189 Billion for capacity building for the National Medical stores (NMS) and Shillings 50 billion for additional COVID-19 support. Others are items in the supplementary are 100 billion Shillings for Uganda Development Corporation to support businesses affected by COVID-19, 60 billion for Uganda Revenue Authority and 223 Billion shillings is for recurrent domestic arrears for rent, land, and cooperatives.
Another 220 Billion Shillings is for the bilateral road infrastructure project between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) gets 100 billion Shillings for proposed interventions, Uganda Police 30 billion Shillings for fuel and meals, and 50 billion Shillings for the Electoral commission.