Government has initiated the budget approval process for financial year 2024/2025 through tabling of the National Budget Framework Paper (BFP) amounting Shs52.7 trillion.
The BFP, and the accompanying certificates including; Certificate of Gender and Equity Compliance, and Climate Change Responsiveness were tabled by the Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi during Plenary sitting on Wednesday, 12 December 2023.
Musasizi said that priority areas in 2024/2025 will include; investing in people, roads, peace and security, electricity generation and transmission lines, and effective management of natural disasters.
“The theme of the budget for financial year 2024/2025 remains the same as financial year 2022/2023 which is full monetization of Uganda’s economy through commercial agriculture, industralisstaion, expanding and broadening services, digital transformation and market access,” he said.
He added that the Shs52.7 trillion budget will be financed through improved revenue collection and controlled borrowing to reduce debt servicing costs while supporting faster socio-economic transformation, among others.
Musasizi added that implementation of public financing, including Public Private Partnerships will also be used as a strategy to finance the 2024/2025 budget.
Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga, questioned the legality of the Certificate of Climate Change Responsiveness, based on the absence of regulations of the Climate Change Act, 2021.
“I do not know whether we are we moving well to extract a certificate from a law which has no regulations since it was passed. I do not know where the Minister gets the audacity to lay a certificate from a law that is devoid,” Mpuuga said.
He also said that the Minister ought to have laid the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility, to capture changes made in the 2024/2025 budget.
“The minister has been elaborate on what they intend to change, what he is not spoken about including matters obtained from the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility. The Minister is not clear whether they intend to make some changes to the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility because if that be the case, he should have laid it here with the BFP,” said Mpuuga.
Musasizi clarified that the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility runs for a five year period, and it was approved in 2021 which will cater for the next financial year.
He added that any changes will be processed through the responsible sectoral committees.
Speaker, Anita Among referred the BFP to the Budget Committee for consideration and to various sectoral committees, which she said will restrict themselves to the part of the BFP that falls within their jurisdictions.
“The consideration of the BFP usually coincides with the festive season. As such, the Chairpersons of various committees should adequately mobilise and make sure this work is done as early as possible,” she said.
According to the Public Finance Management Act, the Government should table the budget framework paper before Parliament by 31 December 2022, and by 01 February 2023, the House should have approved the budget framework paper.