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.
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Lugoloobi added that the NBFP is expected to
provide actual expenditures for the activities proposed for implementation in
the next financial year.
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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
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
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
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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
The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga tasked Bahati to present the NDPIII
in the House on Wednesday without fail.