Parliament Okays UGX 40.7 trillion budget without debate, security works, takes lion’s share

Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah Presides over Committee while processing the Bill,now an ACT.Parliament/PHOTO

The Ugandan Parliament has on Friday 24th may 2019 passed the 2019/2020 budget estimates totaling 40.48 trillion Shillings without debating the report of the committee on the budget.

The committee report was presented on Thursday afternoon by Amos Lugoloobi the Chairperson and the minority report by the Butambala County MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi.

Following the passage of the budget, Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, representing the Leader of Opposition expressed dissatisfaction with the passing of the budget without a debate.

Without directly responding to queries of absence of a debate, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah said it has been an abnormal year especially in regard to the consideration of budget. He blamed the abnormality to government’s mismanagement of the budget process.

The approval in a plenary session this morning chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah came after clearance of different budget figures for expenditure to government ministries, departments and agencies ahead of the set May 31st deadline specified in Public Finance Management Act.

Contrary to standard parliament processes where a debate is held on reports presented before any decision is made, Oulanyah today stopped debate on the budget committee report despite attempts from Budadiri West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi to raise queries on the Police budget.

Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, representing the Leader of Opposition expressed dissatisfaction with the passing of the budget without a debate.CPA/PHOTO

With promises to Nandala that debate on the budget estimates would come at a later stage before, Oulanyah uninterruptedly steered the appropriation of figures until the final stage when the budget was passed.

A total of Shs4.7 trillion will be drawn from the National Budget to finance national security in the financial year 2019/2020 as Parliament has passed the Budget, with hopes of projected economic growth at 6.3 per cent and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 7 per cent, surpassing earlier projections.

The Budget Committee report feeds into the Appropriation Bill, which when passed becomes the Appropriation Act and hence the National Budget.

According to the approved budget, 27.957 trillion Shillings is Recurrent (10.5 trillion) and Development (17.3 trillion) expenditure while 12.53 trillion is Statutory expenditure charged directly on the Consolidated Fund.

The budget is to be financed by domestic revenue collections amounting 20.487 trillion Shillings, resources from the Petroleum Fund amounting 445.8 billion, Domestic Financing 2.32 trillion, Domestic Debt Refinancing 6.18 trillion, external budget support 675.2 billion, external project support 9.42 trillion and others.

Domestic and External Financing constitutes 74.5 percent and 25.5 percent of the total resource envelope, respectively.

Hon Bahati(L) interacts with Hon Lugoolobi and Ssekikubo after House passed the 2019/20 Budget.THE HOMELAND MEDIA GROUP/PHOTO

According to the approved figures, Works and Transport sector takes the largest share of the budget with an allocation of 6.4 trillion Shillings up from 4.7 trillion Shillings, it is followed by the Security Sector with 3.6 trillion Shillings up from 2.06 trillion and the Education Sector allocated 3.2 trillion up from 2.7 trillion.

The other sector allocations are Energy and Mineral Development Sector at 2.9 trillion, Health 2.5 trillion, Accountability Sector 1.9 trillion, Justice Law and Order Sector at 1.6 trillion, Local Government Sector 1.2 trillion, Water and Environment 1.04 trillion, Agriculture 1.01 trillion an others.

Some of the least funded sectors are Tourism with 157 billion, ICT 123 billion, Trade and Industry with 171 billion, Science and Technology 159 billion, Lands and Housing 193 billion, Social Development 218 billion and others.

The 2019/2020 Budget themed ‘Industrialization for Job Creation and Shared Prosperity’ is structured along six major thematic areas including harnessing key growth Sectors of Agriculture & Agro-Industry, Tourism, OiI, Gas, and Minerals; Enhancing Private Sector Growth and Development; Promoting Human Capital Development; Strengthening Public Sector Investments and others.

The others are Improving Governance and Sustaining Security; developing a financing framework anchored on both an effective Domestic Revenue Mobilization Strategy and a responsive Debt Management Strategy.

The Ministry of Works and Transport maintains its place on top of allocations, this time taking Shs6.4 trillion, rivaled only by Security, which takes shs3.6 trillion.
Notable in the allocations are Education with shs3.2 trillion, shs2.9 trillion for Energy while Health bagged shs2.5 trillion.
MPs, however, expressed worry over the growing unemployment despite a promising economy.
“The Committee notes that, the share of youth not in education, employment or training was 34 per cent of the total youth population in 2017, which is higher than regional figures,” partly reads the Budget Committee report.

National Debt Stock is piling, observed the Committee, which they said is a consequence of ambitious infrastructure projects like the oil roads, Busega-Mpigi expressway, Kabaale International Airport among others.

Most of the projects are on loans borrowed from China and the World Bank.
“The Committee noted that the total public debt stock increased by 12.5 per cent to US$ 11.52 billion as at end December 2018 from US$ 10.24 billion as at end December,” noted the report.

Parliament has up to May 31st to pass the Appropriation Act, which operationalizes the Budget.

The passed budget is to be read out to the public on 13th June 2019 by Finance Minister Matia


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here