The Ministry of Planning, Finance and Economic Development (MOFPED) has released Quarter 2 budget allocations worth over Ushs6.6trillion to different institutions to finance different government programmes as budgeted in the 2017/2018 budget.
Announcing the release, Finance Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi said this quarter’s funds were released on September 21, 2017.
Muhakanizi reiterated the government’s commitment to a timely release of funds: “We are committed to release funds for any quarter before the 10th day of the first month of the quarter in order to ensure speedy execution of Government programs. In the first quarter, we released funds on 7th July 2017 whereas in the 2nd quarter we have released funds on 21st September 2017.”
He added that the funds released in both quarters exclude: Debt, External financing and money for the financing of gratuity, pensions, domestic arrears and capitation grants for schools. Other is for: the National Agricultural and Advisory Services (NAADS), the Coffee Development Authority (CDA), the National Medical Stores (NMS), Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to meet thermal energy costs. There was also money for the Kampala Water and Sanitation Project and the rehabilitation of Mulago Hospital.
In the Second Quarter UGX 300.12 billion is to cater for domestic borrowing and services so that Government institutions meet their obligations towards private companies. UGX 19 billion was released in the First Quarter for the salary arrears and UGX100 billion released in the Second Quarter is catering for the pension and gratuity arrears.
UGX 151.77 billion was given NAADS, UGX. 35.74 billion to CDA, UGX 227.92 billions was provided to NMS for drug purchase, 680.7 billion was provided to in the First Quarter to avoid delay in the project implementations as UGX 72 billion was released to Energy Sector UGX 72 billion to cater for thermal energy costs.
UGX 141.7 billion was to for the Water Sector to meet the obligations of water projects especially under the Kampala Water and Sanitation Project. UGX 22 billion was to rehabilitation works at Mulago Hospital in order to complete it in December 2017, the Uganda Cancer Institute got UGX 8.6 billion for payment of outstanding certificate for the bunker and specialized medical supplies and UGX 3.7 billion to Uganda Heart Institute for procurement of specialized equipment.
According to Muhakanizi, the Local Government releases are at 58.3% making a total of UGX 638.35 billion, where UGX 851.99 billion was for wages, UGX 163.33 billion and UGX 169.1 billion was for development. “The releases to Local Government have been effected and based on annual work plan quarterly work plan and annual cash flow plans and this why we released 58.2% in the half of this Financial Year to enable Local Government implement projects timely and balance will be released in quarter three this is in line with Government of Uganda’s commitment to release funds for local Government timely in order to minimize procurement delays and unspent balances at the end of the it,” Muhakanizi said.
However, though MOFPED released the funds in time there are still delays for civil servants at district level to have their salaries in time.
The Secretary General of Uganda National Teachers Union, James Tweheyo, said: “There is still a problem at the Local Government level, especially the teachers who are transferred from old districts to new districts like; Kagadi, Rukiga and Namisindwa, find it hard to get their salaries in time. It delays too much and this has raised lots of complaints.”
Muhakanizi blames the creation of many districts said: “The creation of many districts by the Legislature has to be planned. There are still challenges at Local Government level such as; accuracy of information in terms of bank accounts of education institutions, health centres, town councils, delays in submission of quarterly performance reports by the Local Government, but all these challenges are to be dealt with as early as possible and one of the measures we have planned is to conduct surveys on payment by accounting officers and disciplinary action taken.”
Muhakanizi added: “In order to avoid all these delays and other problems, I caution all accounting officers to ensure that they pay wages, salaries, pensions and gratuity by 28th of every month. They also must prioritize payment of service providers on time and avoid accumulation of arrears and there should be display of the payrolls for salaries and monthly pensions on Government institution notice boards every month, clearance of domestic arrears must be prioritized in Quarter Two.”
Muhakanizi asked Accounting Officers to submit performance reports in time to facilitate release of funds for subsequent quarters.
He said National Identification details will be used in the confirmation of payment of wages, pension and gratuity and all government institution should ensure pre-payment of utilities (Water and electricity), failure to adhere to this the service providers should turn off non-compliant vote.
The Acting Director, Economic Affairs, Moses Kaggwa, however noted that URA registered a shortgall of UGX116bn to hit the budget of UGX3.270 trillion the MOFPED had expected to spend.