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Finance Minister asked to explain variance in budget figures

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has summoned the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija to explain variance in budget figures.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has summoned the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija to explain the variance in figures presented during his budget speech which was presented last week.

This follows an observation of inconsistencies in the figures that were approved by Parliament and those presented by the Minister in the budget speech brought to the attention of Parliament by Budget Committee chairperson Amos Lugoloobi.

In his statement on Tuesday afternoon, Lugoloobi said that the figures in the budget speech by the minister were illegal since they were not approved by parliament as required by the Public Finance Management Act. He cited an allocation of 400 billion Shillings approved for the payment of arrears, which was instead presented as 673 billion Shillings.

He also noted the huge variance in the allocation to the Uganda Development Bank-UDB saying that although parliament approved an allocation of 103 billion Shillings, the Minister’s presentation indicated a figure of 1.4 trillion Shillings.

He said that if the government wanted to make any changes to the budget, they had to first seek the approval of parliament in line with the laws governing the budget process.

Lugoloobi’s complaint was supported by other Members of Parliament who also demanded that the Minister be sent to the Rules, Discipline and Privileges Committee for disciplinary action. But Kadaga directed that Kasaija appears before parliament tomorrow to explain the variance in figures on various items.

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