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National Plan targets must be realistic – Director budget

FILE PHOTO: Executive Director National Planning Authority Dr Joseph Muvawala.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kenneth Mugambe, the director budget at the Ministry of Finance, has said some of the targets contained in Uganda’s National Development Plans (NDPs) don’t reflect the reality and fail to consider the political environment they are operating in.

Mugambe, who was speaking at the United Nations Development Programme (UDP) organised meeting in Kampala on Thursday to discuss financing NDP III, said Uganda has managed to mobilise resources but have not achieved most of the targets in both plans either because of lack of prioritization or simply unrealistic assumptions.

The country is debating NDP III, having implemented the first and second one, which is expiring this financial year.

Mugambe said in the previous plan, technocrats had anticipated that resources would be shifted from certain sectors, including administration and security to human capital, infrastructure, and health but this has not happened.

He said prioritization has also been poor, projects going out mostly for political reasons, not economic sense.

Mugambe said the plans should take into consideration the political economy question, where politicians are creating districts, cities, and municipalities – requiring more resources for administration than previously envisaged.

Technocrats at the Ministry of Finance have been particularly against the additional administration units but met deaf ears from politicians who are always seeking for votes.

“Plans are on paper but the moment you start implementation, you have these realities and don’t know what to do,” Mugambe said.

Dr Joseph Muvawala, the Executive Director National Planning Authority, said the plan was not being used to guide budget, noting that planning was at its lowest in the country.

From the 2020/21 financial year, Uganda will have to use the new NDP III, but there is consensus that the previous plans didn’t achieve most of what they set out to, including a target that Uganda would be a middle-income country by 2020.

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