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MPs Demand Budget for New Cities, Electoral Road Map

Lugoloobi tasked Bahati to explain why the NBFP doesn’t have actual expenditures for the five unfunded critical areas.

Audio 4

The Budget Committee of Parliament has tasked the Finance Ministry to provide unfunded critical areas in the 2020/2021 financial year budget. The committee members issued the directive when the Planning State Minister, David Bahati appeared to defend the 2020/2021 National Budget Framework Paper-NBFP.    

This is an overall strategy document for the budget that provides a link between policies in the National Development Plan and the annual budget.  However, the Committee members led by their Chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi, noted that the NBFP lacks the actual amount needed to among others finance the implementation of the electoral road map, expenditures for creating new cities and salary enhancement of professors in public universities.

  

The committee demanded that the Finance ministry submits a budget with actual figures to be spent on the unfunded activities before Parliament approves the NBFP.  It came after Bahati noted that according to the NBFP, the national budget for the 2020/2021 financial year will be Shillings 39.64 trillion down from Shillings 40.48 trillion this financial year due to limited fiscal space to fund expenditure pressures.

According to the budget breakdown, government plans to spend Shillings 5.95 trillion on works and transport, Shillings 3.28 trillion on educations, Shillings 2.86 trillion on Security and Shillings 950.6 billion on agriculture.  The Energy and mineral development will need Shillings 2.46 trillion, Justice Law and Order Shilings 1.76 trillion), Shillings 667.8 billion on the legislature and Shillings 1.85 trillion on accountability.

The government’s sectoral priorities for the coming financial year are increasing production and productivity in the productive sectors of the economy, enhancing private sector competitiveness, consolidation and increasing of the infrastructure stock, improving social service provision and regional equity, improving the effectiveness of governance and maintaining peace and security.  

However, Lugoloobi noted that the NBFP shows that government has so far mobilised Shillings 800 billion for security and Shillings 200 billion for the electoral road map.  It however, shows that government needs to mobilise additional resources to bridge the funding gap under security, specialized funds, electoral road map, new cities and salary enhancement for university professors and scientific cadres in Research Institutions before the 2020/2021 budget is finalised.    

Lugoloobi tasked Bahati to explain why the NBFP doesn’t have actual expenditures for the five unfunded critical areas.

 

//Cue in: "Where you talk...  

Cue out:...these expenditures? Yes."//  

Lugoloobi added that the NBFP is expected to provide actual expenditures for the activities proposed for implementation in the next financial year.    

//Cue in: "And these areas

Cue out:..budget is a hoax,"//

 

Lugoloobi also noted that apart from presenting a NBFP without actual figures for some activities, the ministry also breached the Public Finance Management Act, 2015. The Act provides that the annual national Budget framework paper-NBFP must align with the approved national development plan.   

The NBFP must be presented to Parliament by December 31st. Now, NDPII, which covers the 2015/2016 to 2019/2020 financial years is expiring in June 2020. Its implementation ends with the 2019/2020 national Budget.  

 

The NDPIII is supposed to inform the processing and approval of budgets of the next five years beginning with 2020/2021 financial year.  Lugoloobi asked Bahati to make a public apology for the delayed submission of NDPIII for parliamentary approval. 

  In his response, Bahati said the plan will be presented to parliament Wednesday. He explained that the plan was not submitted earlier on because of delays in finalising the assessment reports of NDPI and the midterm review for NDPII. 

 

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  The Butambala County MP, Muwanga Kivumbi  and  Dokolo Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal  noted that the Finance Ministry has cited aspects of NDPIII and made the sectoral committees process the NBFP in anticipation of what government will implement in the next five years. 

//Cue in: “The minister comes...

 

Cue out:...anticipation without NDPIII."//

The Shadow Finance Minister, Anthony Akol raised the same matter on the floor of parliament on Tuesday.  He asked how Parliament should proceed with the NBFP, which must be approved by 1st February.

The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga tasked Bahati to present the NDPIII in the House on Wednesday without fail.