By Spy Uganda
In a bid to curb the wastage of taxpayers’ money, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government says there will be no purchase of new vehicles for political leaders and public officers.
This was revealed on 15th June 2023, by the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija when he was reading the 2023/2024 budget at Kololo ceremonial grounds.
Kasaija noted that new purchases will only be made for hospital ambulances, medical supplies or distribution, agricultural extension services, security and revenue mobilization.
“Travel abroad has also been restricted to statutory functions and for critical legal and resource mobilization functions. We will also regulate expenses on workshops and seminars,” added Kasaija.
The minister said the government had spent Shs661 billion on domestic arrears during the 2022/2023 financial year ending June 30 as it projects to collect Shs 29.7 trillion domestic revenues in FY 2023/24.
Shs27.4 trillion will be tax revenue and Shs. 2.3 billion will be Non-Tax Revenue. This represents a revenue effort of 14.3 percent of GDP. “Government is committed to paying verified suppliers, court awards and compensation for ranches. Next financial year, Shs 200 billion has been allocated to settle domestic arrears,” he added.
Under the domestic revenue mobilization Strategy, the objective is to improve revenue collection to between 16 and 18 percent of GDP over the next five years from about 13.5 percent of GDP currently. Next financial year priority has been placed on improving tax administration, including the use of ICT to fight tax evasion, and rationalizing tax exemptions to improve their effectiveness and reduce revenue leakage, according to Kasaija.
The 2023/2024 national budget is the fourth budget for the implementation of the five-year 2020-2025 third National Development Plan (NDPIII) which among other targets intends to reduce Uganda’s poverty rate to 15% and to increase the country’s per capita income (average earning of every Ugandan annually) to $1300 (Sh4.8m).
The latest statistics put Uganda’s per capita income at $1052 and the poverty rate at 20.3%.
World Bank last week released a report indicating Uganda has not made significant progress in poverty reduction in the last 10 years.
In its January 2023 report on the Budget Framework Paper (draft national budget) for the next financial year of 2023/2024, Parliament implored the Executive to ensure more resources are allocated to the productive sectors of Agriculture, ICT, tourism, and industry to improve the performance of NDPIII.
Last month, the National Planning Authority launched the midterm review report, which indicates that the performance of NDPIII is only at 17%.
According to the midterm review report, the poor performance of NDPIII is attributed to weak planning and inadequate budgeting for core projects and productive sectors.