Soroti, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Soroti district has presented a budget of UGX. 29.3 billion for the financial year 2023/2024. The new budget estimates are less than the current financial year budget of UGX. 30.1 billion.
In the proposed budget estimates for the next financial year, central government is expected to transfer 23.23 Billion Shillings, constituting 79.0 per cent; discretionary transfers 3.5 Billion Shillings, representing 12.0 per cent and other government transfers 1.2 Billion Shillings, representing 4.1 per cent.
The district has also planned local revenue collections of 638.2 Million Shillings, representing 2.1 percent and expects donor funding amounting to 766 Million Shillings, representing 2.6 per cent.
In the budget estimates, education takes a lion share with 11.7 Billion Shillings, followed by administration with 4.17 Billion Shillings and health with 4.09 Billion Shillings. Trade and natural resources department are the least funded among the district priorities with 14.02 and 37.48 Million Shillings respectively.
Simon Eyangu, the Secretary for Finance, Planning, Administration and Investment said that the new budget estimates are subject to changes as the district expects more Indicative Planning Figures- IPFS from the Ministry of Finance.
He added that the new budget, when approved in May is expected to facilitate the construction of phase 2 of the district headquarters in Katine, recruit staff, construct wards and classrooms in different sub counties and drill at least five boreholes among other interventions.
“Of the proposed local revenue, income is mainly expected from the sale of non- productive government assets, land fees, market fees, business licenses, local service tax among others,” he said.
According to the budget performance report for the current financial year, Soroti district received 14.6 Billion Shillings, representing 48.5 per cent from the government conditional and non- conditional grants’ transfers by the end of December which marks the end of second quarter of the financial year.
In local revenue, the district realized 134.7 Million Shillings representing 18.2 per cent of the 738 Million Shillings budgeted. The district also realized 219.5 Million Shillings from the donor funding, representing 28.6% of the expected 766.6 Million Shillings captured in the budget.
Simon Peter Edoru Ekuu said that the new IPFS are affecting health, community based services, natural resources among others. He, however, expects new changes in the IPFS.
Meanwhile, Soroti City Council failed to lay its budget on Thursday after the protest from councilors who accused the city authorities of delaying to communicate council business. Peter Eyou, the Councilor representing Opiyai Ward said that they were given notice of council meeting on Tuesday when some members had traveled for other engagements.
The district councils are required by law, to lay their budgets by March 30 every year and approval of the same by May 31 as per the revised government regulations through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.