KAMPALA - Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka presented a sh14 trillion budget for the financial year 2014/15 on Thursday. The event, attended by MPs, ministers and other dignitaries, took place at Serena Conference Hall in Kampala.
Below is how the proceedings unfolded.
- Government unveiled sh14 trillion budget for 2014/15
- Budget was read by finance minister Maria Kiwanuka
- Works and transport bagged biggest portion
- Approved budget last financial year (2013/14) was sh13.1 trillion
- Kenya and Tanzania read their budgets as well
Reporting by Joseph Kizza
All times used are Uganda ( East Africa/EAT) Last updated on 5.30pm
5.20 pm Budget done. World Cup next!
Those tweets in the entry below wrap up our time here today. Thanks for the company but be sure to read, in detail, stories (below) of the budget on our website.
Budget: GDP growth projected at 6.1 per cent
Uganda’s foreign exchange hits $ 3.1 billion
Sh450b for public servants' pay rise
BUDGET: New, increased taxes
We have achieved our goal in South Sudan - Museveni
Enjoy your World Cup season, and may the best team win in Brazil. Uhm, England, perhaps?
Lubega Paul: Alcohol and cigarettes are safe from increased excise duty!!! Am I missing something!!!!!????
Kemigisa Jackie: I have to say this years budget hits where it hurts most ,Sugar, mobile money and bank transfers ; diesel ; petrol and Kerosene
Hashim Wasswa: Pleasantly surprised by Pres M7's Budget Speech this time around! He emphasized results in past year & priorities for the next.
Hillary K : hehe we had one achievement in Uganda tday from the past and that is LESS MEN n WOMEN were asleep at work today on our TV sets
4.50pm Speaker adjourns session
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga adjourns the Ugandan Parliament until June 17. And as is usual procedure, the national anthems are played to mark the closure of the 2014/15 budget.
4.48pm Museveni says budget represents shift of resources from consumption to investment.
5.40pm Fighting terrorism
The president makes it very clear that is committed to the fight against terrorism.
He also says that AIDS infection numbers have declined, that the number of new babies born with HIV also dropped to less than 8000.
The number of healthy people who go out looking for HIV and get it has gone down from 2011, Museveni points out.
Among the issues he highlights, he warns that massive agricultural production without value addition "can affect our produce on the external markets."
5.25pm President Museveni makes his remarks
The president begins his remarks by pointing out that 830km of tarmac roads were completed this year, and says that Uganda has achieved connectivity on tarmac roads.
However, he makes it clear that the issue was not of how long the roads have taken to complete, but that they were indeed completed this year.
He says: " I am very proud to associate myself with these achievements (in infrastructural developments, which include roads and power)".
5.20pm Minister Kiwanuka concludes speech
5.10pm In brief: Excise duty, tax exemption, health and elections
- Sh50 excise duty to be introduced on petrol & diesel, sh200 excise duty reinstated back on kerosene
- Tax exemption terminations: on salt, packaging materials to milling & diary, insurance except for medical & life
- An SMS and call hotline to be introduced for the public to give feedback on the Budget information
- The minister proposes to increase the presumptive tax threshold from 1% to 3% to generate sh8 billion
- Government will institute tax inclusive budgeting for all goods and services procured by Government
- Minister Kiwanuka also proposes to terminate initial allowance on eligible property in order to widen the tax base
- Health facility infrastructure at both local government and referral levels will also be expanded
- 105.6bn has been allocated to the electoral commission for timely preparations for elections
4.55pm Pay rise for teachers
In the forthcoming financial year, plans are that public servants and teachers will a pay rise. Teachers are to get a 15-20% pay rise, while sh450 billion has been put aside to enhance salaries of public servants. My former High School teachers should receive this as the news of their day.
Service providers to Government will be paid within 14 days (two weeks) of invoice, the minister announces.
Meanwhile, budget transparency will be enhanced by working closely with the civil society.
4.40pm ID project and Police recruitment
An additional sh74 billion has been allocated to the implementation of the National identity card (ID) Project.
Some sh80 billion has been allocated to the Uganda Police Force to cater for recruitment. Gen. Kale Kayihura should be pleased with this portion, innit?
Then, total external financing of the budget will amount to sh2,733bn, which is equivalent to 18.2% of the total budget resources, says the minister.
Did I tell you that 98 of 112 districts are now connected to national power grid? If I hadn't yet, there you go.
Charity Byarugaba: We need to train our children how to pronounce local words towns minister struggling to read the budget.
Okello Igune: I seen Nantaba ... Otafire ...... chewing and giving in respectively.
Follow the conversation #ugbudget14
4.30pm ICT: Uganda shining in Africa
For the techies here, how about this for some good news: The Microsoft report ranked Uganda second in the use of ICT in Africa only behind South Africa.
However, Internet connectivity reduced, the minister said. On the brigther side of this 'little' internet problem we have got, internet bandwidth agreements have been signed. A BPO center at Statistics House has been opened.
4.20pm Government's plan for this coming year is to provide agricultural inputs and reduce costs for workshops and seminars (nice one here!). The minister reiterates that the agricultural sector remains key for employment, productivity and export.
Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth fiscal year 2014/15 is projected at 6.1%.
4.15pm Sh75 billion for roads
From the finance minister's speech, we learn that government plans to give the Road Fund sh75 billion to facilitate the maintenance and rehabilitation of 10,00km of roads. On top of this, bridges will also be constructed.
The proportion of the national unpaved road network is currently in fair to good condition, Kiwanuka says.
Just so you know, government's aim in this coming financial year is to upgrade from gravel to bitumen of 200km of roads.
4.00pm Growing workforce
Minister Kiwanuka goes on to say that Uganda's "workforce is growing", and that SMEs are critical in creating jobs. She says SMEs, in due course of time, will span the whole economy. In this respect, she says that government plans to train entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, it is revealed that government is calibrating its regional exporting strategy and that total exports have improved this year ending (2013/14).
So now the task for government remains on how to facilitate productivity, and also enhance curriculum reform and business development in line with business demands.
In the forthcoming financial year, stable value added employment will be achieved in the medium term.
The finance minister also voices that the reduction of the number of days to transport a container from Mombasa (a coastal city in neighboruing Kenya) to other East African countries was purely a presidential initiative.
Tony Etyang Junior
Finally online business registration...good point
No muzungu is sleeping...should I assume they enjoy our budget more than we Ugandans
Fredrick Tumusiime: When GoU's focus changes from quantity (population, education, etc.) to quality, we'll invest in watching Maria's budget speech
3.55pm In the next financial year, 37 licenses will be abolished and amendments to laws affecting 307 licenses will be completed.
According the minister, URA and URSB are transforming into a one-stop centre while online company registration will commence in the coming financial year.
Government, she points out, will roll out the National Land Information System from 6 zones to 21.
3.45pm Money laundering
The minister says that Uganda has registered rise in number of people accessing bank services from 70 to 80% due to mobile banking.
The financial intelligence authority, she says, will be operationalised to curb on money laundering in the market, and goes on to comment Parliament for passing the Anti Money Laundering Bill.
Meanwhile, Kiwanuka says government has liberalized the pension sector to allow workers have a choice in the pension schemes they contribute to.
3.30pm South Sudan conflict impact
The minister says that the ongoing instability in neighbouring South Sudan has negatively impacted on Uganda's export revenues.
Meanwhile, she says, inflation has been low and had dropped to 5.4% by this month. She goes on to say the government will continue to prioritise the development of infrastrure.
Government's long term objective it to boost domestic savings to provide long term development of the financial sector.
3.20pm Poverty levels drop
Starting her speech, finance minister Maria Kiwanuka reveals that Uganda has seen reduced poverty levels from 56.4% in 1992/93, down to 24% in 2009 and further down to 19.7% % in 2012/13.
However, she goes on to tip that Uganda must continue to fight poverty if it is to continue to grow.
Kiseka Denis: More than half of the 14trillion of Uganda's budget is to come from URA. I wonder what the 2014/15 budget has for private sector to balance this
Toni Etyang Junior: Besides percentages, isn't there any other way that the budget can be explained?
Stanley: Am done with waragi. They [can] tax it as much as they want
Share your thoughts via #ugbudget14
3.15pm Proclamation by speaker Kadaga
After the anthems are played and sung again, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament Rebecca Kadaga officially declares Serena Conference Hall the House.
Proceedings can start.
The Speaker welcomes the President and dignitaries, including the MPs, ministers and other stakeholders.
3.00 pm What the public expects in the new budget
John Karionji, CEO Insurance Company of East Africa
Life insurance should enjoy tax advantages by exempting premiums paid to buy life insurance. Currently, people buying life insurance are not enjoying any tax waiver. In other countries, life premiums are exempted from tax, meaning Pay-as-You-Earn is calculated after deducting life premiums.
Steven Asiimwe, Tourism Board CEO
We want increased funding on tourism and for tourism facilities and infrastructure such as roads and airfields. The embassies badly need help to market Uganda. They are doing a good job, but they are poorly facilitated. Also, VAT should not be levied on upcountry hotels because it makes Uganda an expensive destination.
Amos Nzeyi, UMA chairman
We should make sure that the industry sector is protected. The sector is young, but it has been growing steadily, although at a slow pace because of power disruption. The sector needs to be handled well because we are now competing with large industrial countries such as Kenya and Tanzania that have not had problems since their independence.
Kenneth Kitariko, African Alliance Uganda CEO
The economy requires a stimulus to get going. The Government has got to spend, consumer spending and credit uptake are down. Security is a soft issue, but very important and we need to take it very seriously. The difference between us and Kenya now is big because Uganda is secure and investors take this very seriously. I will be shocked if we see an increase in taxes.
1.55pm Sleeping syndrome? Here's a solution
Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, believes that to avoid dropping your head down and up, down and up during the reading of the budget session, staying on one's feet will do the trick.
The Uganda Media Centre executive director tweets: "For today's Budget speech to avoid sleeping let ministers and MPs listen while standing up, Speaker should rule."
2.43pm PRESIDENT CHECKS IN
President Museveni arrives at Serena, and as soon as he gets at the venue, the national and East African anthems are sung.
A guard of honour follows, and a march past will come in next.
When the march past proceedings are done, the president enters the Serena building and is ushered into the main auditorium, where the finance minister is already waiting.
The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura marches right into the auditorium shortly before the president walks in.
2.30pm Who eats what?
As we wait for the president to arrive, seeing that most of the dignitaries have already landed ashore, let's think about who will take the biggest share of the budget.
Is it the energy sector? Or does education deserve the largest lion's share? Well, whoever takes the largest portion of all, there are so many hints that infrastructure will have the last laugh, if you like.
2.10pm FINANCE MINISTER ARRIVES
All eyes on her. Finance Minister arrives, wearing a black kitengi, with yellow and red embroidery. She sure knows her wardrobe well, I say!
The minister has always nailed her Budget Day look with the kitenge (who knows what a kitengi is called in English? I don't seem to land on any term. Tweet me.
For the Fashionistas we have got following here, what do you think of Minister Kiwanuka's wardrobe taste?
Silver Kayondo: Digitization of land titles has improved security, records and time for executing transactions. Dev't is tied to land use
Nduhura Sam : I think some MPs have bought marijuana from Kisenyi to make them be awake
Join the conversation on #ugbudget14.
1.45pm Defining 'budget'
So there has been plenty of reaction from the public in the runner up to this day. Many lay people feel the jargon used while presenting the budget is too technical for them to comprehend. Speaking of the percentages and financial terms the minister reads out.
One random businessman in one of Kampala's city shops said he knows some of the learned people in society don't understand some of the terms used.
But how about we get to surface of these concerns first. Do people even know what the budget is? What is your definition of a budget?
Have your say via #ugbudget14.
1.40pm Birds of the same feather . . .
As the clock ticks away, I know some of you are slumped into your living room settees, eyes glued to your screens following the live TV coverage of Budget Day on Vision Group's Urban TV. Well, if you can also tune in to Bukedde Radio for live coverage, as long as you keep with us right here online.
While all this is happening in town, across our nearest borders, your neighbours in Kenya and Tanzania are doing pretty much the same thing. Finance ministers Henry Rotich (Kenya) and William Mgimwa (Tanzania) are due to read their respective national budgets as well.
Birds of the same feather, sure do flock together!
1.30pm Half an hour away
Paul Busharizi, New Vision's contributing editor politics and business
In today's New Vision paper, Busharizi writes: "Of the total budget, sh10.1 trillion will come from domestic revenues, sh221b from budget support, sh2.6 trillion from project support and sh550b will be borrowed from the domestic market.
"The budget is coming in the wake of a difficult year when economic growth is marginally down to 5.7% from last year’s 5.8% but far short of the targeted 7% in the National Development Plan.
"Drought in the first quarter of the year that affected harvests, and a flare up of chaos in South Sudan at the end of last year that sorely affected exports, were to blame for the missed target. The Government projects that growth will rebound to 6%."
Follow Paul on Twitter
1.23pm Reviewing salaries
According to the National Budget Framework Paper 2014/15, the Government is planning to introduce a salary review commission for the civil service, give teachers their long awaited salary increments, initiate consultations into a viable national health insurance scheme, propose railway development levy and decentralise gratuity payments to civil servants away from the public service ministry.
1.20pm Panel of budget experts
Robert Kabushenga, Vision Group's CEO
On the group of experts, he says: “This will be a kind of special editorial board that will help our team understand the key issues in the budget. They will bring their specialised knowledge from their respective industries and guide our editors on how to present the budget to our readers on Friday."
Follow Robert on Twitter
1.15pm BUDGET EXPERTS
Meanwhile Vision Group is hosting its annual panel of senior officials from the private and public sector for an insightful analysis of the budget and these will try to break down for you what the budget means for the economy and the country in general.
The panellists include Standard Chartered Bank CEO Herman Kasekende, Uganda Development Bank chairman Prof. Sam Sejjaaka, MTN boss Mazen Mroue, Vivo Energy managing director Hans Paulsen, Umeme CEO Charles Chapman.
Others include: development economist Prof. Augustine Nuwagaba, Anti-corruption Coalition of Uganda executive director Cissy Kagaba, CEO of the Institute of Chartered Public Accounts of Uganda Derrick Nkaja, and MD of dfcu Bank Juma Kisaame, and the city traders association spokesman Issa Sekito.
What would it be having this discussion entirely one way, huh? With your participation, this platform right here would be such a lonely place, I say. So I would like to know your thoughts as regards the budget. Which sector(s) do you feel should be given more funds?
On his part, President Yoweri Museveni, last week while giving his State of the Nation address, felt agriculture, industry, services and ICT are the key areas of focus. He made it very clear that these four sectors are crucial for wealth creation and access to employment.
Do you agree? Join the discussion on Social media. Tweet via #ugbudget14. You can also post your comment on our Facebook page
1.03pm 'Continuation of last year's budget'
Earlier this week, minister Kiwanuka told New Vision that this year's national budget will take on from last year's.
"“This budget will be a continuation of last year’s budget in targeting resources at infrastructure, value-for-money on government projects leveraging domestic resources and pushing for greater accountability."
1.00pm Hello and welcome to live coverage of Budget Day, a dayfinance minister Maria Kiwanuka is scheduled to read the national budget for the financial year 2014-2015 starting 2.00pm, just an hour from now, at the Serena Conference Centre in Kampala.
The minister is expected to unveil a sh14 trillion budget, sh900 billion higher than that approved last year (sh 13.1 trillion).