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Today is national budget speech day

Minister Kasaija walks with a swag after delivering the 2016/17 budget.  He has the stage again today. FILE PHOTO PPU

The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija will today present the financial year 2017/18 national budget which is expected to hit Shs29 trillion up from last year’s Shs 26.3 trillion.

Kasaija will read the budget to parliament on behalf of President Yoweri Museveni who will later comment about the figures after the presentation at Serena, Kampala.

On Wednesday Last week, the minister submitted a corrigendum to parliament indicating that the national resource envelop had increased.

Under the theme “Industrialization for job creation and shared prosperity”, government will spend more than 30% of the budget on infrastructure investments, with approximately Shs4.8 trillion on works and transport, up from Shs3.8 trillion in the current year, while the education sector  and the agriculture sector will take 2.4 trillion shillings and Sh863 billion respectively.

Under the recently enacted Public Finance Management Act 2015, the budget is supposed to be passed before it is read.

Previously the budget reading kicked off a process of parliamentary debate and approval that lasted until October of the new financial year.

As a result, the broad framework of this year’s budget has already been thrashed out in parliament and is widely known.

Accounting officers must be punished for low absorption capacity-Muhumuza

An Economist and researcher at Makerere University, Dr. Fred Muhumuza has advised parliament to take action on accounting officers that persistently underutilize funds allocated to government ministries and departments in the national budget and end up returning the moneyconsolidated fund.

Muhumuza has argued that low absorption capacity by some government agencies cripples service delivery.

“Most of the money unutilized is borrowed from the World Bank hence attracting high interest rates. Look at this year’s budget, the second biggest share of the budget is going towards loan repayments. This is not good for the economy,” said Muhumuza

In the 2017/18 financial year, Sh2.6 trillion representing 12.1% of the total sh29 trillion budget has been allocated towards the payment of loans whose interest rates are due.

“The Ministry of finance should stop releasing funds for unplanned expenditures unless line ministries show cause for their requisition. The budgeting process must be cleaned. Its not a matter of allocating resources,” he said.

RELATED: The 2016-17 budget speech

FY 2016_17 Budget Speech_Final Final by The Independent Magazine on Scribd

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