The First Budget Call Circular for Financial Year 2024/2025

by Business Times
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The Deputy Secretary to the Treasury (DST), Patrick Ocailap on behalf of the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury on 15th September,2023 issued the first Budget Call Circular (1st BCC) on preparation of the budget framework papers and preliminary budget estimates for FY 2024/2025 in line with Regulation 7 (1) of the Public Finance Regulations,2016.

The aim of this Circular was to communicate the budget process calendar for FY 2024/25, the budget strategy and strategic programme interventions, the preliminary resource envelope for FY 2024/25 as well as the strategic policy and administrative guidelines for preparation of the Budget Framework Papers.

The theme of the Budget for FY 2024/25 is: Full Monetization of Uganda’s Economy Through: Commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, Expanding and Broadening Services, Digital Transformation and Market Access.”

In the Circular, Ocailap said that, the ultimate goal of the budget strategy for FY 2024/2025 is to accelerate economic growth to at least 7%through a shift from a raw-materials-based to a manufacturing and knowledge-based economy.

He said the strategy also aims at improving the environment of doing business in Uganda and making it competitive in the medium term.

“The ultimate goal is to build an independent, integrated, and self-sustaining economy as well as an anchor for socio-economic transformation of the Ugandans,” said Ocailap.

The Deputy Secretary to the Treasury said new measures have been adopted to ensure efficiency in planning and budgeting for FY 2024/25 and also sustain the economic recovery path without compromising commitments within the Charter for Fiscal Responsibility.

He said Government is implementing the fiscal consolidation strategy by focusing on enhancing revenue collection, repurposing the budget to finance new priorities, efficiency and effectiveness in public expenditure and reducing borrowing to ensure long-term debt sustainability.

Ocailap said all development programs and projects are being reviewed and those found to be performing poorly will be exited from the Public Investment Plan (PIP) so that the available resources are allocated to projects with high impact growth.

Next Fiscal year’s budget strategy will focus on effective implementation of the Parish Development Model, Agricultural production and value addition, development of the Oil and Gas Sector, accelerated development of the

Mineral sector and continued implementation of the export and import replacement strategy.

Other focus areas include: Unlocking constraints in Tourism Development, Investment in Science, Innovation and Research, Digitalisation and Automation of the Economy, Private Sector Development, Integrated Infrastructure Development and Services as well as Promoting Public Sector Effectiveness and Accountability.

DST said the preliminary resource envelope for FY 2024/25 is Ushs 52.723 trillion, noting that the discretionary resource has reduced by Ushs 3.470 trillion from Ushs 25.2 trillion to Ushs 21.73 trillion on account of increased interest payments, increased external debt repayments and reduction in budget support.

Regarding the policy and administrative guidelines, Ocailap urged Accounting Officers to allocate resources to their Vote’s critical activities and items prone to virements and supplementary requests during budget execution.

“No virements shall be authorised and Accounting Officers will be held liable for these lapses. Going forward, there will be no room for supplementary expenditure,” said the DST.

Accounting Officers were also urged to adhere to the Government policy of tax inclusive planning and budgeting during preparation of the budget framework papers and detailed budget estimates for FY 2024/25. They were also requested to prioritise titling of government land.

On the issue of budgeting for salaries, pensions and gratuity, Ocailap said the Ministry is waiting for final report on the special payroll audit from the Office of the Auditor General upon which wage allocations and ceilings for FY 2024/25 will be based in addition to other parameters.

The DST also informed Accounting Officers that the Development Committee will no longer consider any new project proposals for construction of office buildings, noting that government is finalizing plans for construction of a Government campus at Bwebajja, along Entebbe road to accommodate all government institutions that are currently renting.

Accounting Officers were reminded that no new administrative units will be created in FY 2024/25.

They were also reminded to adhere to the Government Asset Management Framework and Guidelines,2020 to fulfil their mandate to manage and control the public assets throughout the assets life cycle.

For more Details on the 1st BCC, visit our website.

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