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Parliament passes UGX40 trillion budget

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Parliament passes UGX40 trillion budget

Uganda Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah

Uganda Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah

The Parliament of Uganda this morning passed the Appropriations bill 2019, an approval for the government to spend UGX40 trillion next financial year, The Appropriations Bill marks the end of the Budget process that started nearly five months ago.

The UGX40.4 trillion is a significant jump from last year’s UGX32.7 trillion.

Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who presided over the House when the bill was being passed, described the process as an abnormal year, during which Ministers didn’t get the opportunity to present ministerial policy statements.

“This has been a very abnormal year but I thank you for the endurance & perseverance. We never had ministerial policy statements & I thought the Gov’t Chief whip would offer an apology. To just say thank you when MPs have gone through hell…,” said Oulanyah.

But the process has been riddled with controversy particularly about the inconsistencies in figures.

Yesterday Deputy Finance Minister David Bahati faced a rough time convincing the Budget committee that was chaired by Ntenjeru North MP Amos Lugoloobi why his ministry was presenting conflicting figures from those they had already presented to Parliament.

In a new twist, Bahati presented a new document showing inconsistencies in additional funding required. On Thursday, government presented an additional UGX 934 billion different from what they had earlier requested to be addedd to the already scrutinized UGX39.4 trillion.

Butambala MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi alerted the chairman to the insistence.

For nearly a decade, the roads sector remains the biggest spender with UGX6.4 trillion, followed by security with UGX3.6 trillion. Energy will have the third biggest call on the budget with 2.95 trillion.

The increase in works and security however comes at the expense of the key social service delivery sectors such as education. This is largely due to the fact that the country’s mounting debt is taking a huge toll on available funds as debt re-financing is already taking up to 12 percent of the overall budget.

Minister Kasaija is expected to present details of the 2019/20 budget on June 13, 2019. But the provisions of the law will take effect on July 1, 2019

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