With unusually little disagreement on the floor, Parliament on Tuesday night passed a record Shs26.3 trillion post-election Budget for the 2016/17 financial year with the government staying true to what it promised in its campaign manifesto.
The major objective of the Budget, according to Finance minister Matia Kasaija is to enable implementation of the ruling party’s 2016 manifesto within the overall framework of the Second National Development Plan.
“The largest proportion of the resources have been allocated to the key priority sectors of Works and Transport (18.7 per cent); Education (12 per cent); Energy and Mineral Development (11.7 per cent); Health (8.9 per cent) and Agriculture (4.0 per cent),” Mr Kasaija said.
The minister is expected to present the details in his Budget speech expected in the first week of June.
The Budget was approved in line with Section 14 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015. The new law changed the budget cycle in such a way that Parliament must now approve the budget before it’s read by the minister so as to ease implementation and delivery of services.
In laying out public spending plans for the next financial year, Mr Kasaija announced in a statement yesterday that the new budget will focus on wealth creation by supporting agricultural productivity; infrastructure development; improving the quality and access to key social services in education, health and water and heightening defence and security.
As promised in the NRM manifesto, priority went to Works and Transport, which has been allocated Shs3.6 trillion, Energy Shs2.3 trillion, Education Shs 2.2 trillion, Shs1.4 trillion to the health sector and more than Shs326b going to provision of agricultural inputs such as hoes, pesticides, fertilisers and planting materials like coffee seedlings to boost household incomes.
In the NRM manifesto, President Museveni also promised free sanitary pads to school girls, scholastic materials such as textbooks and mathematical sets, hand hoes, Shs1 trillion for Naads, more money towards the Youth Fund, Women Fund, Microfinance Fund and Innovation Fund.
Like other developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is facing a crisis of unemployment, widespread poverty amidst constrained growth. Trade imbalances have also aggravated the situation.
Credit: All Africa