Ministry of Finance together with SEATINI and Other NBM Partners Hold Engagement with the Media Fraternity on FY 2022/23 National Budget
On 2nd June 2022, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in partnership with SEATINI Uganda, CSBAG and ACODE held an engagement with the media fraternity led by the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association. This engagement which was held ahead of the FY 2022/23 National Budget reading on 14th June 2022 was aimed at presenting and discussing key issues of the National Budget for FY 2022/23 with the media fraternity.
This workshop was part of budget transparency initiatives and National Budget Month activities that bring together Policy Makers from relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organizations and Private Sector to among other things; create awareness about Government priorities and strategies for the FY 2022/23 and scale up efforts to enable stakeholders understand and appreciate the budget.
The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija in his remarks noted that despite the COVID-19 induced shocks and stresses, Uganda’s economy is growing steadily and very resilient.
Hon. Matia Kasaija added, ‘‘The economy despite the shocks is projected to grow between 3.8% and 4.5% in the Financial Year 2022/23.Through our revenue strategy, we hope to increase generation of domestic revenues to deliver services to Ugandans. We are not introducing new taxes next FY for purposes of enhancing economic recovery’’.
Mr Mbulamuko, the Director of Budget at MoFPED implored the media fraternity to remain professional and only report verified facts.
While giving her remarks, the SEATINI Uganda Executive Director, Ms Jane Nalunga emphasized that the FY2022/23 National Budget should not be business as usual. She noted that government should continue to scan the environment to adapt and develop relevant policies to address current challenges especially those induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently the Russia-Ukraine.
As part of her remarks, Ms Jane Nalunga noted that Government of Uganda adopted the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) in the late 1980s and the economy was liberalized and subsequently the government privatized and deregulated thus relegating its role and leaving the economy to the private sector.
She added, ‘‘To get out of our current predicaments, government needs to be clear on the kind of policies we need to put in place and what should be the role of the state. Policies are not God-given. They are deliberately crafted and thus there is need to rethink issues around supply and demand. If a policy cannot work for majority of the people, then that policy should be changed.’’
In her concluding remarks, Ms Jane Nalunga applauded Ministry of Finance and other Government MDAs like Uganda Revenue Authority for the cordial relationship with Civil Society. She noted that SEATINI will continue to give objective criticism and provide alternative policy proposals to move Uganda forward.
Dr Arthur Bainomugisha, the Executive Director at ACODE Uganda expressed concern that Uganda’s public debt has increased to 73trillion but our budget for FY2022/23 is 48.1 trillion. He thus urged government not attract a loan that we are not ready to use.
Mr Julius Mukunda, the Executive Director at CSBAG observed that although government has projected economic growth of 6.3 % in FY2022/23, however, this will largely depend on the revenue collections.
As a National Budget Month (NBM) partner, SEATINI Uganda in close collaboration with MoFPED, Uganda Revenue Authority and other NBM partners remains committed towards enhancing awareness and promoting budget transparency and accountability.