Govt tables Shs58 trillion budget for 2024/2025

Musasizi called for House support in processing and passing the Bill ahead of the new financial year.

Govt tables Shs58 trillion budget for 2024/2025
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Government has presented a Shs58.34 national budget for the 2024/2025 financial year, intended to focus on ‘full monetisation of the Ugandan economy through agriculture, industrialisation, expanding and broadening services, digital transformation and market access’.

The Minister of State for Finance (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi, who presented the budget also listed investments in wealth creation initiatives, investments in social sectors like education, health and water, as well as manufacturing, as the other priority areas.

“The key priority areas include peace and security, road maintenance and construction of a few strategic road and construction of the standard gauge railway, electricity transmission and utilisation of existing energy stock,” he said during the plenary sitting of the House on Thursday 28 March 2024.

The national budget is tabled before April in accordance with Section 13 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015, which states that, “The Minister shall, on behalf of the President, present the proposed annual budget of a financial year to Parliament, by the 1st of April of the preceding financial year.”

Musasizi called for House support in processing and passing the Bill ahead of the new financial year.

“I wish to pledge on behalf of the Ministry of Finance that we shall be available to support this process through Parliament from the start to the end,” Musasizi added.

The new budget estimates indicate a rise by Shs5.64 trillion compared to the 2023/2024 budget that amounted to Shs52.7 trillion.

The proposed budget was accompanied by five tax bills including the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2024, the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2024, the Tax Procedures Code (Amendment) Bill, 2024, the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2024 and the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

“These are tax bills that will help us to get money to fund the next budget,” said Speaker Anita Among, while referring them to the House Committees on Finance and Budget for consideration.

According to Section 13 of the Public Finance Management Act, the budget for the succeeding year must also be accompanied by among others, a list of accounting officers, a statement on multi-year commitments to be made by Government in the financial year and a certificate indicating the budget’s gender and equity responsiveness.

Before the budget presentation, legislators accused the PSST, Ramathan Ggoobi, of disrespecting Parliament allegedly saying that the institution does not have a role to play in the appropriation of the budget.

"Members have been very keen in attending sectoral Committees to consider the budget but whatever we approve does not come to reality. Since the PSST made that statement, I do not see why we are spending our time going into the budget," said Hon. Nathan Byanyima (NRM, Bukanga North County).

Byanyima and Hon. Joseph Ssewungu (NUP, Kalungu West County) sought to move a motion that Ggoobi should appear in person to apologise to the Committee of Parliament.

"In the Committee of Education, we summoned him and he refused to appear. The Finance Minister had to ring him to come but he still refused. He does not respect Members and Committees of Parliament," said Ssewungu.

The Speaker alluded to Article 156 of the Constitution and Section 14 of the Public Finance Management Act as regards budget approval by Parliament, and said she would write to him reminding him of the need to respect Parliament.

Minister Musasizi apologised on behalf of the Ministry and asked legislators to disregard the statement of the PSST.

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