Gov’t revises 2023/2024 budget to Shs52 trillion

by Business Times
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Government has revised the 2023/2024 financial year budget to Shs52 trillion from Shs51 trillion. 

This was contained in the corrigenda to the budget for Financial Year 2023/2024 that was laid by the Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi during on Wednesday, 10 May 2023. 

Corrigenda provides for details of correction of errors and omissions under the draft budget estimates for 2023/2024 that were tabled by the Minister of Finance on 30 March 2023. 

The corrections are as a result of requests by accounting officers in line with Regulation 12 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). 

“The regulation states that an accounting officer of the vote may at any time, before Parliament considers the estimates of the vote make a correction of an error or omission made in the estimates submitted by the accounting officer in Parliament,” Musasizi said. 

Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi (L) and the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among(PHOTO/Courtesy)

According to the revised estimates, items that require an increase in resources include, external financing, treasury operations, non-tax revenue and local revenue. 

The estimates indicate that government has provided Shs254 billion to treasury operations towards reducing government’s liability with the Central Bank.

Similarly, after review of external financing profile, the draft allocations to projects have been adjusted to Shs8 billion from Shs7.4 billion. 

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities has received an additional Shs33.3 billion as excess non-tax revenue collected in 2021/2022 financial year. 

These funds are expected to cater for construction of staff accommodation, equipment for surveillance, electric fence maintenance and rhinos translocation to various national parks.  

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Speaker Anita Among referred the corrigenda to the Budget Committee for scrutiny and called on lawmakers to actively participate in the budgeting process. 

“Budgeting process is important to you; this is when you know how much goes to your district and you need to be in this House when they are doing appropriation, which is one of your core roles. We are going to supply on Tuesday, and please be here,” said Among.

Kira Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda however, faulted the ministry over delayed presentation of the corrigenda.

“It has become a practice for government to present documents relating to budget in the last minute. When you [Speaker] announce that on Tuesday we will supply, they [ministers] come running with the corrigenda making it very difficult for the Committee on Budget to scrutinise because of the times involved,” he said. 

Section 14 of the PFMA requires Parliament to consider and approve the annual budget and work plan of government for the next financial year by the 31st day of May. 

In a related development, The Ministry of Finance has presented a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to Parliament requesting an additional Shs4.4 trillion to cover extra expenses for the 2021/2022 fiscal year. 

Musasizi tabled the request accompanied by a Certificate of Financial implication during the plenary sitting on Wednesday.

According to the appropriation request, the funds will be drawn from the Consolidated Fund under the Public Finance Management Act 2015 and are intended to be used for both the first and second quarters of the fiscal year. 

Under recurrent expenditure, Shs620 billion will be allocated to the Ministry of Defence, UPDF land forces and the Air force.

Shs193 billion will go towards salaries, wages and other expenditures under State House.

Additionally, Shs50 billion will go to the Ministry of Education for salaries, Shs134 billion to the Ministry of Health, Shs35 billion for salaries under the Electoral Commission, and Shs228 billion under Treasury Operations for salaries, wages, and other expenses.

Shs100 billion will be for recurrent expenditure under the Uganda Police Force, and Shs28.7 billion for Internal Security Organisation among others.

The Speaker Anita Among referred the bill to the Committee on Budget for further scrutiny.

Among also said that government needs to come up with a clear policy on what items can be spent under the threshold of three percent of the approved budget. 

The minister is obliged to seek prior parliamentary approval for any additional expenditure above the limit.

“You should bring an amendment, a law that clearly states what the three will be used for. We need to pass the three percent, and give a condition that we should bring a law which defines under what circumstances that government can use the three percent,” she said.

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