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Govt considers recommendations for the 2019/2020 budget

By Moses Mulondo

Added 31st October 2018 10:43 AM

In a letter dated October 19, 2018, the secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi invited some key ministries for discussions on the key priorities for their sectors.

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Ministry of Finance director, Budget Kenneth Mugambe (L) talks , while Office of the Prime Minister official Ezra Suruma looks on, during the Budget consultative meeting at the Ministry of Finance, in Kampala on October 29, 2018. Photo/Kennedy Oryema

In a letter dated October 19, 2018, the secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi invited some key ministries for discussions on the key priorities for their sectors.

Government is considering budget recommendations from various stakeholders as it prepares to formulate the final draft of the budget framework paper for the 2019/2020 financial year.

In a letter dated October 19, 2018, the secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi invited some key ministries for discussions on the key priorities for their sectors.

The finance ministry revealed that government will give more priority to key three growth sectors of agriculture, industry, and tourism in the 2019/2020 budget to catapult the country’s economy to greater heights.

The 2019/2020 financial year is exceptionally unique because it will be the last year to the end of the second National Development Plan (NDPII) in which government promised to drive Uganda to the middle income status with a per capita income of $1013693 (about sh420,000sh) and with the poverty rate reduced to 14%. Uganda’s per capita income is currently $770 (about sh2.8m) and poverty level has increased from 19% to 21.4%.  At the time the NDPII was launched in 2015, Uganda’s per capita income was $693 (about sh2.6m)).

The meetings will take place next week from Tuesday to Friday in the conference hall of the ministry of finance.

Sectors to participate in the discussions will include infrastructure (energy, works and transport), production sectors of agriculture, tourism, trade and industry, social services sectors of health and education, and public sector management and public administration.

The discussions will anchored on the recommendations which were presented in the budget conference of September 13, 2018 at Serena Hotel during which various stakeholders including the civil society, development partners, local governments, and the Private Sector Foundation participated.

Some of the key recommendations the stakeholders gave in the budget conference include the need to significantly increase budgets for the productions sectors of agriculture, tourism, ICT, and industry.

They also urged government to get serious on elimination of wastage by cutting down on the huge administrative costs, reduce the cost of doing business, and to come up with practical measures for addressing the high rate of unemployment. 

Commending steps being taken to restructure government to eliminate wasteful expenditures, the coordinator of the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, Julius Mukunda suggested the need to reduce the size of cabinet, parliament, and to reduce of the local government administrative units.

The stakeholders also urged government to address concerns which cause political protests because they have a tendency of scaring tourists and foreign investors from coming to Uganda.

The ministry of finance director for budget, Kenneth Mugambe Uganda government has been internationally commended for having an outstanding participative and transparent budgeting process.

“We have made significant progress in promoting budget transparency that the Global Open Budget Survey ranked us the second best in Africa after South Africa. Our target is to become number one,” Mugambe stated.

The Public Finance Management Act which became operational in March 2015 requires government to present to parliament the budget framework paper (draft budget) for the following financial year by before the end of December.

The Parliament budget committee and the parliament sectoral committees are also tasked with securitising and consulting various stakeholders on budget proposals from government from January to May when the final budget is supposed to be approved.

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