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2021 Budget draft shoots from sh39.6 to sh41.9 trillion

By Paul Kiwuuwa

Added 24th February 2020 08:39 AM

Kakama explained that the adjustments will first be presented to Cabinet for scrutiny and then sent to Parliament for final approval.

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Kakama speaking during the Strengthening Budget Transparency and Demand-side Accountability training, at Fairway Hotel in Kampala last week. (Photo by Sylvia Katushabe)

Kakama explained that the adjustments will first be presented to Cabinet for scrutiny and then sent to Parliament for final approval.

KAMPALA. The 2020/2021 national budget estimates have risen to sh41.9 trillion, up from sh39.6 trillion approved by Parliament last month.

Godwin Kakama, the commissioner of budget policy and evaluation at the finance ministry, recently attributed the increase in the budget draft to external financing by donors for specific projects and government funding to run the 2021 general elections.

Kakama said: “Sh2 trillion is expected from external financing, while sh400b has been allocated to finance the 2021 general elections.”

The National Budget is expected to be read in June.

The 2019/2020 national budget totals were sh40.487 trillion, of which tax and non-tax revenue amounted to sh20.895 trillion.

Kakama said: “Part of the external financing, includes sh700b allocated to the health sector to finance Global Fund projects and sh300b allocated to the defence ministry to finance.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), a regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union, with the approval of the United Nations Security Council.”

However, Kakama explained that the above adjustments will first be presented to Cabinet for scrutiny and then sent to Parliament for final approval.

Kakama was flanked by Kenneth Mugambe, the director of budget at the finance ministry, the executive director of Civil Society Budget advocacy Group (CSBAG), Julius Mukunda, in a training workshop for the media and civil society organisations at Fair Way Hotel Kampala.

 

 Moses Mulondo, the president of Uganda Parliamentary Press Association, Julius Mukanda the executive director of CSBAG, with Mugambe during the accountability training in Kampala last week. (Photo by Sylvia Katushabe)

Journalists who cover Parliament under their umbrella Uganda Parliament Press Association and civil Society organization were trained in budget transparency and accountability. The Training was organised by ministry of Finance in conjunction with CSBAG.

Parliament, on January 30 approved the sh39.6 trillion 2020/2021national budget draft. The report MPs based on to approve the Budget Framework Paper (draft budget) was presented by the vice-chairperson of the budget committee, Patrick Isiagi Opolot (Kachumbala County MP).

At the time, the state minister for planning, David Bahati, clarified that the sh39.6 trillion figure would be adjusted upwards because they expect to secure more external funding.

The budget committee noted with concern that increasingly, debt repayment was taking the biggest portion of the national budget, which erodes the amount of resources available for service delivery.

In the draft 2020/2021 national budget, the money for debt repayment has been increased from sh10.6 trillion in last year’s national budget to sh12.6 trillion.

The committee raised concern that whereas the third National Development Plan (NDP III) prioritizes giving more resources to the production sectors such as agriculture, ICT, tourism and industry to boost the economy, in the draft budget, the Government continues to under fund the production sectors.

Opolot noted that agriculture, which employs more than 70% of Ugandans, has been allocated only 2.4% of the national budget.

The committee also recommended that an extra sh17b be allocated to the minerals sector to enable the Government acquire necessary equipment for carrying out surveys for minerals.

The committee observed that while the minerals sector has a lot of potential to turn around the economy, the Government has been under funding it.

Parliament also recommended that additional funding be given to the tourism sector to support the development of airdromes, the development of industrial parks, to Kiira Motors to enable the company acquire land and commercialise its automotive technology innovations, especially production of cars as well as to the works and transport sector to enhance road maintenance.

 The committee also noted that whereas the NDP III plans require the Government to ensure the 2020/2021 budget is at least sh55 trillion, the budget ceiling provided is only sh39.6 trillion.

Advising the Government to minimise accumulation of domestic arrears, Parliament said domestic arrears continued to grow from sh2.7 trillion in the 2017/2018 financial year to sh3.1 trillion in the 2018/2019 financial year.

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