By Rebecca Alowo
This is the fourth year of implementing the National Development (NDP). However, analysis reveals a mixed picture of performance for the various NDP targets. For instance, the annual Government Performance Report (GAPR) of 2011 showed that while the current Sectoral Investment Plans (SIPs) are broadly aligned to the NDP and in its first year of implementation, the NDP achieved approximately 60% of the annual targets. Further analysis also shows that implementation of the plan has slowed down and achieving the NDP targets by FY 2014/15 remains uncertain. The Government report states that public investments in some areas are aligned while in other areas they are not. Therefore, successful implementation of the NDP will continue to depend largely on consistent prioritization of financing of core projects and interventions which will have the greatest impact on the socio-economic transformation of Uganda.
The budget for the FY 2018/19 will also form the third year of executing the NRM Manifesto for the period 2016- 2021. Therefore, accelerated implementation of both the NDP and the NRM Manifesto will underpin the Budget Strategy for the FY 2013/14. Consequently, the key objective of the budget strategy for the FY 2013/14 is to ensure that Government expenditure remains focused on investment in the key productive and social service sectors to achieve Government long-term vision of transforming the country from a predominantly peasant and low income economy, to a competitive upper middle income country as envisioned to both the NDP and the NRM Manifesto.
In line with the NDP, NRM Manifesto and building on the achievements of the previous budget strategies, the FY 2013/14 budget will seek to exploit Uganda‟s numerous development opportunities which include; oil and gas, tourism, minerals, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), business, abundant youthful labour force, strategic geographical location, fresh water resources, industrial and agricultural potential. However, these opportunities will only be harnessed through proper prioritization of Government expenditure at national, sectoral and local government levels. Focus should be on aggressively tackling the key challenges to development particularly in physical infrastructure (transport, ICT and energy), Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation (STEI); human resource development and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery.
The budget strategy for the FY 2013/14 also recognises that in the process of implementing the NDP and the NRM Manifesto, there other emerging challenges that might not have been earlier envisaged and if not properly tackled; they will continue to hamper Uganda‟s transformation agenda. This Budget Framework Paper therefore reviews the performance of the economy in the recent past, progress on implementation of sectoral programmes and projects, identifies the key challenges to Uganda‟s economic transformation agenda and overall public service delivery. The paper then presents the macroeconomic framework and medium term outlook, the proposed sectoral priorities and financing strategy for Government programmes for the FY 2013/14. The key sectoral priorities for the FY 2013/14 are derived from the NDP and the NRM Manifesto and include strengthening National Defence and Security, increasing investment in Energy Infrastructure (Electricity, Oil and Gas), Transport infrastructure, Scientific Innovation and Research, Value Addition and Industrialisation, increasing Agricultural Production and Productivity, improving the quality of Education, Health and Water and strengthening institutional governance for better service delivery.
Rebecca Alowo a DEng student at Central University of Technology in the Free State, South Africa
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