Opposition fails to block sh3.8 trillion extra budget
Sh1.2b is to buy three vehicles for the First Deputy Prime Minister, as well as the Minister of State for East African ...
PARLIAMENT | OPPOSITION | EXTRA BUDGET
KAMPALA - Parliament has passed its first sh3.8 trillion supplementary expenditure for financial 2021/22 amidst resistance from opposition MPs.
Three opposition MPs submitted a minority report to Parliament disagreeing with the extra budget, saying it was uncalled for.
Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) on Thursday argued that the Government had not presented sufficient information to justify the supplementary budget.
Kivumbi said some items in the extra budget allocation, which included purchase of vehicles for ministers, were not urgent and could wait.
Kivumbi, together with Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality) and Gorreth Namugga (Mawogola County South) produced the minority report on the supplementary for the financial year 2021/22.
The chairperson of the budget committee, Patrick Isiagi Opolot, presented the 100-page report on the supplementary expenditure, asking for its adoption.
Opolot said they had reviewed the requests made by Government and came up with agreed positions. He said many additional expenses were brought up by COVID-19.
The committee was informed that the schedule will be funded as follows; suppression within Government’s budget of unnecessary items, such as travel abroad to the tune of sh1.2 trillion, additional borrowing of sh2 trillion and external financing sh471b.
The committee recommended approval of sh27.5b to the Office of the President for payment of salaries of presidential advisors and purchase of motor vehicles, settlement of a court award to Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, the establishment of the Public Investment Management Executive oversight platform, to clear the outstanding obligations to the Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo for hosting state visitors during the swearing-in ceremony of the President that was held in May 2021, facilitating intelligence in the fight against COVID-19 and supporting resident district commissioners to implement the presidential directives in the fight against COVID-19.
The committee endorsed sh56b to State House to meet the initial requirements for setting up a COVID-l9 vaccine manufacturing plant and funding the anti-tick development project.
The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs got sh410b to cater for COVID-related activities during the second wave and vote operational shortfalls on wage, pension, medical expenses, food, clothing, National Defence College recurrent arrears and compensation to National Housing Corporation.
While sh1.5b was given to the Ministry of Public Service for the payments of emoluments to the former vice-president and prime minister, sh350m was provided for hosting the Pan-African Women’s Organisation, sh100b was allocated to support Small Business Enterprises to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, sh1b was to facilitate the activities of the Presidential CEO Forum Secretariat, sh13b to meet the contractual obligations under the Integrated Financial Management System, as well as facilitate the roll-out of electronic Government Procurement System to 21 entities.
Parliament approved sh395m for the Ministry of Internal Affairs to combat the spread of COVID-19 at its premises, through, among others, fumigation of the premises and provision of personal protective equipment, while sh914m was provided for COVID-related interventions by the Ministry of Local Government, that include; testing staff, Internet data support to staff working from home and for disinfection.
Another sh1.2b was provided to procure three motor vehicles for the First Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of East African Community Affairs, as well as the Minister of State for East African Community Affairs.
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development got sh45b to facilitate completion of outstanding works for the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project financed by the World Bank.
The project activities include preparation of physical development plans of selected urban centres and rehabilitation/construction of roads and local economic infrastructure, such as markets in Hoima, Buliisa and Kikuube districts.
The Ministry of Education and Sports received sh48.5b for the procurement and distribution of learning materials to cater for classes from P1 to P4 and S5 to S6, to ensure continuity of learning during the extended closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Health got sh48.5b to mitigate the effects of the second wave of COVID-19 that included risk and hardship allowance, feeding patients, fuel for ambulances and disinfectants. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives received sh10.8b to facilitate the revamping of co-operative unions and the procurement of five motor vehicles for the new ministers and the permanent secretary.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development got sh28.95b to extend the contract of the Government-hired (owners) engineers at Karuma dam to ensure adequate supervision to the required standards following the extension of the contract period to June 2022.