The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi has said that frequent supplementary requests are making it difficult for Uganda to have a stable national budget.
Muhakanizi who was speaking on Thursday during the high-level pre-budget dialogue of Financial Year 2020/21 at Ministry of Finance headquarters said that people in the government or politicians have always created new entities that lead to accumulation of supplementary budgets not knowing that they may lead to financial constraints to the economy.
“We have about 700 new entities created without a budget. People in government tend to think that there’s no fiscal constraint in this, but I can tell them that there is a much bigger problem. This is why we need to solve this immediately. Another animal we have is the issue of supplementary budget requests, this is a big challenge to the stability of our national budget,” he said
He added that currently due to Covid-19 pandemic the country’s treasury is largely lacking and if supplementary budgets keep flowing in, it could become serious trouble to the status of the economy.
“In April more than Shs650bn of the revenue was wiped out, so even the treasury which everyone is looking at for help is also in an emergency situation,” he said.
Parliament has always passed couples of supplementary budgets, however, according to some House members, most of supplementary budgets normally go to security and State House while others are classified.
However, Muhakanizi has cautioned that in the next Financial Year there is a need for budget transparency if there are to account for the value of every money spent.
“We have committed ourselves to budget transparency in this period, every big contract must be published. We are in a big position to fight and deal with these issues and have value for money,” he said.
He added that currently, Uganda is facing three emergencies namely, covid-19, floods and locust, they should be considered but also leaders have to put into consideration their effects on the economy.
“The hope should also come in the context that we must be so careful as we open up the economy so that we don’t experience the COVID 19 burden. And the way to overcome this the FY2020/21 budget will be adjusted not only from the revenue side but also from the expenditure side,” said Muhakanizi.
The Executive Director Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) Julius Mukunda also urged Ministry of Finance that the only way Uganda’s economic will recover from effects of Covid-19 will depend on whether the right measures are applied to kick start the economy.
“We may need to pay the domestic debt to increase aggregate demand for goods, services, We need to be innovative and smart if we are going to get out of this period. We also need to be transparent. We want to urge the government to ensure that transparency ways of work are embraced,” he said.
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