The works, education, energy and mineral development sectors have been allocated the biggest percentages of the national budget which was read by the finance minister yesterday Thursadya 14 June, 2012, according to the budget framework paper - FY2012-2013 - FY 2016-2017
BY MOSES MULONDO
The works, education, energy and mineral development sectors have been allocated the biggest percentages of the national budget which was read by the finance minister yesterday Thursadya 14 June, 2012, according to the budget framework paper - FY2012-2013 - FY 2016-2017.
The strategic priorities for the next financial year (2012/2013) will be infrastructure development, oil and petroleum, human capital development, employment and job creation, and implementation of pay reform.
The Government also promises to put emphasis on agricultural production and productivity although the reality of this promise is not reflected in the budget allocations since the budget for the agriculture sector has been reduced from 434b (4.8%) to sh336.2b (3.7%).
The budget for the works ministry will increase from sh1,290b (14.1%) to sh1468.3b (16.1%) thus emerging as the second must funded sector.
The budget for the education sector will also significantly increase from sh1.420.3b (15.6%) to sh1,559.1b (17.1%).
The energy and mineral development ministry budget will increase from sh1,320b (14.5) to sh1,374.5b (15%)
The already underfunded health sector will however have its budget reduced from sh804.7b (8.8%) to sh752.5% (8.2%). The 2001 Abuja Declaration which was signed by African heads of state requires every African country to allocate a minimum of 15% of its budget to the health sector.
The Government has however already started implementing a $130m project from a World Bank loan for improving the infrastructure, buying equipment and training more medical staff.
The budget for the lands ministry will also reduce from sh32.4b (0.4%) to only sh22.2b (0.2%).
There is also good news that the security budget will be cut from sh974.9b (10.7%) to sh725.1 (7.9%) although we are not yet sure whether this ministry will not seek more supplementary budgets as has always been the case.
The tourism, trade and industry ministry will have its budget increase slightly from sh53.1b (0.6%) to sh65.1b (0.7%).
Although this sector contributes so much to the national GDP, what the Government invests in it still leaves a lot to be desired.
The public sector management budget will reduce from sh985.1b (10.8%) to sh965.2b (10.6%).
The public administration budget will increase from from sh231.5b (2.5%) to sh234.1b (2.6%)
Justice, law, and order budget will increase from sh531.9b (5.8%) to sh558.3b (6.1%) while the water and environment budget will increase from sh272.6b (3%) to sh302.1b (3.3%). The social development budget will increase from sh272.6b (3%) to sh302.1b (3.3%).
The highest increase in sector resource allocation is for works and transport which has been allocated an extra sh177.5b.
This is largely attributed to increased donor funding to UNRA for the Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway and the transport systems development project.
This is followed by the education sector, with an increase of 138.8b which is due to the enhancement of teachers' salaries as well as increase in donor funding. Under the energy sector, there is an increase of sh215.1b for the Karuma power project.
The total resource envelope will increase from 9,125.7b to 9141.2b. Although the President, in his state of the nation address raised concern over the high public wage bill of 1.7trillon, the national budget framework indicates that salaries for teachers will be increased by 15%. The remuneration of scientists and lower soldiers will also be increased.
In response to the common criticism of government not following the benchmarks and priorities the experts set in the National Development Plan, government promises to improve the alignment of its programmes to the plan and to initiate more measures to eliminate inefficiency and wastage in public expenditure by minimizing allocations to consumptive areas.
Since there was a major shortfall in the local revenue collections, government is likely to introduce some new taxes to widen its tax base to be able to generate more funds for working on the various roads he has lined up for construction.
This theory is compounded by the fact that recent efforts by government to solicit for funds for roads from China were futile.
That is why the President said in his nation address that he is contemplating borrowing money from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to construct more roads, a move which is likely to be opposed by the workers.
Budget framework sets who gets what