CSOs Question the Proposed Budgetary Allocations and Priorities for FY 2021/2022:
Civil Society Organizations questioned the proposed National Budget for FY 2021/22 and urged government to rethink and re-align the National Budget to the needs of the common citizens. The National Budget is the key instrument through which Government implements its policies.
According to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the National Budget for FY 2021/22 is now 44.778 trillion up from about 41 trillion mainly on account of the need to finance pressures of Government of Uganda.
While addressing journalists on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) Offices, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including FOWODE, SEATINI Uganda, CSBAG, Uganda National NGO Forum, STIR Education, Center for Economic Governance and Accountability (CEGAA) and Centre for Health Rights and Development (CEHURD) listed the least funded areas for example Public Sector Transformation Programme which is projected to receive UGX 324.89 Billion (0.79%), Community Mindset Change Programme with UGX 56.905 Billion 0.14%.
In the same manner, CSOs highlighted the highest funded programmes in the FY 2021/2022 National Budget UGX 41.219 trillion as Governance and Security Programme taking a lion’s share of UGX 7,790.77 Billion representing 18.9%, Human Capital Development programme taking a share of UGX6,831.94b which is 16.6% and integrated Transport Infrastructure and Service programme at UGX3,987.52 Billion (9.7%).
Africa Kiiza, the Programme Coordinator, Trade, Investment and Development at SEATINI reiterated that the proposal of a 12% tax on internet data may not sustain trade in the East African region and called upon Government to subsidize the cost on the internet.
He also noted that Uganda’s utilization of domestic and negotiated regional and global markets remains low (at 40%) due to poor quality standards of her products. This has largely led to the ever increasing Trade Deficit.
“In order to address this, UNBS should be allocated with enough human and financial resources, including a special fund to support MSMEs in certification and standardization,’’ Africa said.
‘‘The commitments that the government of Uganda has made to prioritize health must be backed up by resource allocation,’’ Peter Eceru, Programme Specialist Health & Human Rights Advocacy at CEHURD said.
Emmanuel Kasaija, the Programme Officer at FOWODE, pointed out that the government should invest more money in production sectors and not servicing debts which is not sustainable.
“We call upon the government to improve on efficiency in public investment management by exercising due diligence and addressing issues
relating to project identification, appraisal and absorptive capacity for public debt-financed projects,’’ Kasaija said.
The CSOs commended the Minister of Local Government for putting a ban on the creation of new administrative units following mounting pressure from SEATINI Uganda and other CSOs.
Patrick Rubangakene, the CSBAG Budget Policy Specialist underscored the need to streamline the budget using a programme-based approach and sensitize local government on its implementation.
Brenda Akite, the Associate head of Government relations and Partnership Stir Education implored Government to train more teachers on the implementation of the lower secondary curriculum to improve on learning outcomes.