CSOs Call For Dialogue on Budget Priorities
BY IRENE ABALO OTTO email@example.com
Civil society organisations have called for a national dialogue to discuss budgeting for critical sectors of the economy to mitigate the debt burden and spur economic development. “-We need a national dialogue on the economy. How do we run the economy?” Ms Jane Seruwagi Nalunga, the country director for SEATINI Uganda (Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute Uganda), said. She was speaking during a pre-budget dialogue for financial year 2020/2021 in Kampala yesterday to discuss “strategies for public investment and inclusive growth.” “Our banks are dying but the international banks are here making money,” Ms Nalunga added. Mr Stephen Mukitale, the Buliisa MP, said the country has enough money to run the economy but selfish interests are hindering proper utilisation of the resources.
Training local contractors “The money we have is enough to do so much more if we could reduce on the [resource] haemorrhage and corruption,” Mr Mukitale said. He wondered why Uganda is building infrastructure such as roads with-out funds for maintenance and the contractors are mainly foreign. Mr Mukitale urged government to train local contractors to have capacity to construct roads and provide employment. According to Mr Asuman Golooba of National Planning Authority, whereas Uganda is investing in roads and dams, there is worry that the debt burden will escalate yet Ugandans are not connected to electricity. “We have surplus electricity but if supplied to everyone, we can easily have a deficit,” Mr Golooba said.