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CSBAG urges govt on 2022/23 budget

The Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), Executive Director Julius Mukunda (right) shakes hand with Budget Policy economist Ali Tagoole as the Executive Director, Food Rights Allance, Agnes Kirabo (lift) and Forum for Women in Democracy programme officer Emmanuel Kasaija look on. This was during Civil Society Organization post budget dialogue held on 23. Photo/Independent Alfred Ochwo

 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group has commended the government for putting together a pro-people 2022/23 budget, but has outlined areas that it wants prioritised so as to achieve tangible results.

Speaking at a post-budget event held in Kampala on June 23, Julius Mukunda, the executive director of CSBAG said, urged government to prioritise implementation of the domestic revenue mobilisation strategies through exploring the untapped potential revenue sources such as the digital economy and strengthening tax systems and administration – this would widen the narrow tax base.

He also said, delivering services to the citizens requires that government cuts on the consumptive expenditures in the budget and prioritises allocations towards development budgets. In the nee budget, only Shs14.5tn (30%) will go towards development expenditures, and Shs20.6tn towards recurrent expenditures (Shs14.2tn for non-wage and Shs6.3tn for salaries and wages).

Mukunda said, such allocations mean that as a country, “we are not adjusting to the new normal of reducing on consumptive budget expenditures and living in denial. It’s our appeal that 70% of the budget is allocated towards development expenditures.”

He also said, government needs to put in place a mechanism for managing low and nonperforming projects through enacting a legal framework on public investments management.

Mukunda also urged the government to manage the country’s growing debt so as not to compromise service delivery. The country’s debt stood at Shs73.5tn representing a nominal debt to GDP ratio of 49.7% as of Dec.2021.

Meanwhile, Mukunda commended the government for the steps it is taking in the budget to recover the economy including; the move to not introduce new taxes in FY2022/23; halting payment of Value Added Tax for suppliers to government; the move to full implementation of the Parish Development Model which will help transform the economy through targeting the 39% households still in the subsistence economy.

The other is enhancing the pay for scientists, medical workers, and science teachers which “we hope will motivate the above cadres and improve service delivery.”

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