By Vision Reporters
The Uganda People's Congress (UPC) has called upon government to prioritize education, health care, infrastructure and agriculture as the areas that government ought to give the lion's share of next financial year's budget.
Another opposition party, DP has advised the government to allocate enough funds in the national budget to sectors which will improve the social-economic welfare of majority Ugandans.
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka is set to present 2014/15 national budget later today (Thursday).
UPC party spokesperson Okello Lucima argued that the four areas are the cornerstone for the country's economic development.
"These areas should take the largest share of the 2014/15 budget allocations because of their great importance to the economy. For example majority of our people depend on agriculture for their livelihood and it's the backbone of our economy," Lucima explained.
He called upon President Yoweri Museveni and all government ministries and departments to always stick to the budget and ensure no any expenditure goes to the wrong items.
"Unless we do that, the reading of the budget will always be meaningless. We must link the budget to our national plan and ensure that the President does not make pledges that are outside the budget," he advised.
DP legal advisor, Fred Mukasa Mbidde and the newly appointed party spokesperson Dr. Michael Lulume Bayiga proposed to the government to ensure that more priority is given to the agriculture sector and the health sectors.
Dr. Lulume (MP for Buyikwe South), who is also the shadow minister for health, lamented over what he called the government’s negligence to the health sector reflected in allocation inadequate funds to the sector.
“Whereas the Abuja declaration to which Uganda is a signatory required African governments to allocate not less than 15% of their national budgets to the health sector, Uganda government gives it only 6%. This explains why our hospitals are dilapidated without the necessary medical equipment to save the lives of Ugandans,” Dr. Lulume explained.
He reported that in the various visits by MPs, various hospitals in the country were in an appalling state without even basic amenities like water, electricity and drugs.
“As Ugandans, we were greatly embarrassed in a recent global health summit in Malaysia when it turned out that we are among a few countries lagging behind in achieving millennium development goals on health. It was shock to the rest of the world to discover in Uganda over 438 women die in the course of giving birth,” Dr. Lulume elaborated.
Opposition lists budget priorities