The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has directed that
the 2021/2022 financial year budget should be approved before the 11th
Oulanyah told MPs that the 10th Parliament is mandated to complete the budget
process before the 11th Parliament starts on 20th May.
He asked the government to ensure that all ministerial policy
statements on the coming financial year budget are strictly in the House by
15th March to enable them fast track the budget. In the previous years,
different Ministries have failed to meet this set deadline, which affected the consideration
of the budget.
The Public Finance Management Act 2015 provides for the budget consideration
and approval timelines and it requires Parliament to complete the entire
process by the 31st May of each year.
However, this date set by the Act is not favorable to the 10th Parliament
since it will wind up before 31st May and therefore a shorter time for the MPs to
consider and approve the budget.
“We have a challenge that this Parliament will not exceed the 20th of May
because, by this time, a new Parliament will have started sitting. What that
means is we don’t want to hand over this budget process to the next Parliament
because it would be too difficult for the next parliament to begin processing
it,” said Oulanyah.
Oulanyah noted that they have two weeks less according to the set timeline left
for them to finish the business something he said would require alterations in
the way that Parliament will be processing the 2021/2022 financial year.
“The Ministers, Government Chief Whip please ensure that by 15th March all
Ministerial Policy Statements are in the House to enable the alternative policy
statements to be brought by 29th March and then the Committees will
expeditiously work on these things to be able to achieve what we must achieve
by the date when this parliament will not be operational,” he directed.
The Deputy Speaker added that Parliament will also expect the Ministry of
Finance to prepare all the budgetary documents including the proposed annual
budget to be submitted to the House by the 1st April PFMA deadline.
He however said that the challenge would then be with the lengthy processes after
1st April that involves the consideration of the Appropriation and Revenue
Bills. Oulanyah said that this process should this time round be really quick
and that the timelines in the Rules would be altered for Parliament to adopt
all the committee reports and Bills latest May 15 instead of the usual May 31.
This alteration means that Parliament Committees handling
different sector budgets will have less time to finish the budget business.
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The President-Elect is expected to take oath on May 12 and Members of the 11th
Parliament will then take oath from May 17 to 19. The 11th
parliament will commence on the 20th of May.
Oulanyah says there is a need for the budget process to be completed by the
time all these activities come into play.
The Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa suggested that Members of Parliament
be required to adjust their programs and dedicate more time to the budget
throughout the week.
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Oulanyah said that the bigger burden will lie with the committee which he said
will have to work even on weekends to achieve the new timeline.
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David Bahati, the State Minister of Finance for Planning assured parliament
that the ministerial policy statements will be submitted as early as next week.