Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members sitting on Pistry of Defense can actually be turned around to be the engine of development and we said interest will be paid to companies [where UPDF has interest] that bring in money,” said MP Muhammad Kivumbi (DP, Butambala), who is also the current Shadow Minister of Internal Affairs.
“The Ministry should cease to be a parasite to the government; the Ministry should generate its money because it has the potential,” he added.
State Minister of Defense (Veteran Affairs) Bright Rwamirama, who led the military officers and technocrats to the Committee, took offence with the ‘parasite’ talk, deflecting the responsibility to MPs, who he said should capitalize their investments.
“The issue here is capitation. What do you want the Ministry to do when we don’t have capitalization fund…they are all underfunded in our budget,” he said.
Government agencies that are profitable get funding from government to increase their investment capital and increase capacity.
Rwamirama said with the limited funding notwithstanding, UPDF has, through its National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), intensified manufacturing, boasting of supplying light ammunition in the East African region.
Committee Chairperson Doreen Amule said the Committee is willing to defend an item in the Ministry’s budget seeking to capitalize their enterprises and improve Appropriation In Aid (AIA).
“What do we do when there is no money? The MPs are not accusing you, we are simply saying can we have the Uganda Air Cargo [capitalization] prioritised?” said Amule.
Appropriation In Aid is money generated by a government department or agency, which it is authorised to retain, rather than surrender to the consolidated fund.
The MPs said they would support efforts to make the army’s commercial wing profitable.
The Ministry appeared to discuss their budget performance and also set the pace for their Budget Framework Paper as the cycle for the Financial Year 2019/2020 takes shape.
The Ministry was allocated Shs1.398 trillion and a Supplementary appropriation of Shs442.8 billion.
Rwamirama said Shs1.73 trillion is the actual release to the Ministry and that all has been spent except Shs46.2 million, which they said is to be returned to the Treasury as it had been budgeted to cater for the salary of officers deployed in foreign missions but changes in exchange rate favored Uganda, hence the balance.
They awarded themselves a 99.9 per cent budget performance as measured in terms of budget execution.
SOURCE: UGANDA PARLIAMENT