Kasese municipal council has approved a budget of sh10 billion to fund the activities of its local government next financial year.
Presenting the budget to the councilors during a council session held at Rwenzori international hotel on Wednesday, Kasese secretary for finance, planning and administration Peter Baluku, said the bulk of money would be dedicated to funding healthcare, the works department and education.
He said the municipal council will have to rely on local revenue to fund the budget because donor support for Kasese is on the decline and government grants are insufficient to meet the existing need.
He said that last financial year the municipality scored up to 75% of its budget and appealed to the central government to always release funds on time so that council can be able to implement its targeted projects.
"We are relaying on the central government which will fund up to 90% of our budget estimates but when it delays delivering the money, we also delay in implementing our planned activities," said Baluku.
He appealed to the people with businesses in the municipality to pay their license fees in time so that council can realize its budget.
He told the Municipality council that the executive had put in place several strategies to improve in revenue collection in the 2016/2017 financial year which they will continue with in to enhance local generated revenue.
"The cardinal strategies include improved techniques in collection of revenue from existing markets, stalls, composite manure plant, taxi parks and other licensable businesses," said Baluku.
Baluku said another strategy is collection of property tax from valued properties in gazetted growth centres such as hotels and lodges eligible to pay the said tax.
He said that others include streamlining the actual realization of Local Service Tax from salary earners for both government departments and the private sector.
The last strategy is holding monthly local revenue mobilization meetings with parish chiefs, sub-accountants and the other key stakeholders.
He explained that the municipal council had also anticipated to receive some funds from donors but some did not fulfill their obligations. However, all councilors unanimously approved it without any queries.
Israel Masereka, the councilor representing Kamaiba central said the budget was fair because his area was allocated some funds to facilitate some projects which include roads maintenance.
The education sector in Kasese will receive the lion share of the budget fund. However, the mayor chairman, Godfrey Kabyanga, said most of this money will be spent on salaries and little will be left to build classrooms, improve teaching and purchase textbooks.
Kabyanga said that special attention was put on improved health, agriculture, feeder roads improvement, increased production and productivity at household level, education services, and safe water provision through water harvesting.
He said there will be some improvement in the people's livelihoods and appealed for more funded projects aimed to eradicate poverty in his area.
Kabyanga said that funding for all departments had a slight increase and hopes to have better service delivery in the district.