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Govt arrears now at sh10 trillion

Finance PS Ramathan Ggoobi briefing President Museveni at a previous meeting

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The government owes different organizations and persons up to 10.818 trillion shillings in unpaid amounts payable for various goods and services, fines, penalties, and taxes.

About 316 billion shillings are in pension arrears, according to the updated audited arrears schedule for the financial year 2022/2023.

Domestic arrears have been an issue in accountability regarding Uganda’s total indebtedness, with experts and politicians arguing that the debt level is far higher than the estimated 50 percent of GDP because arrears are hardly taken into account.

The Auditor General’s report put the country’s debt at 96 trillion shillings, while the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development reported 86 trillion as of the end of 2022/2023.

The bulk of the arrears are in sums due from goods and services supplied to the central government’s ministries, and these total 3.1 trillion shillings, including pension arrears of about 270 billion.

Government agencies, commissions, and authorities account for 7.53 trillion shillings in arrears, with Treasury Operations (an agency under the ministry of responsibility with government debt management, investments, and the Contingency Fund) holding 6.14 trillion and Uganda National Roads Authority 622 billion shillings.

Under the ministries, Finance tops with 888.3 billion with the majority being in taxes and other deductions and contributions to international agencies.   It is followed by Justice and Constitutional Affairs with 740.1 billion shillings which is all in the form of court awards and compensations.

Under Treasury Operations, the amount payable in court awards and compensations amounted to 1.1 trillion shillings, while under ‘others’, the agency was indebted to the tune of 5 trillion shillings.

Generally, “Others”, whose details are not explained, accounted for the largest single source of arrears, with 5.24 trillion shillings, mainly from the unpaid sums by “Treasury Operations”.

This is followed by court awards and compensations arrears worth 2.015 trillion, followed by arrears for goods and services to various ministries and agencies, worth 1.06 trillion shillings, and land acquisitions of 1.05 trillion.

By the end of the year, the government owed up to 21.1 billion shillings in rent housing its various installations, with agencies accounting for 18.6 billion shillings, while others were for missions abroad, universities, and other self-accounting institutions as well as referral hospitals.

The government owed international organizations more than 137 billion shillings in membership and other contributions, as well as 851 billion shillings in taxes and other deductions.

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