By Spy Reporter
Quick quips about today’s budget reading
This Thursday afternoon, much, if not all, of the local focus will be on the national budget for the new financial year (2017/18). Finance minister Matia Kasaija is expected to present a bigger budget this time round to the parliament and the public. This, he will do on behalf of the president.
Planned government borrowing and increased taxes to fund the Shs29 trillion budget for financial year 2017/2018 have left investors and business leaders worried about the coming year, ahead of the budget announcement next week.
While expectations are mixed, any optimism in the private sector is cautious, tempered by low expectations of government’s ability to execute projects efficiently to create an enabling environment for private sector growth.
“The government is borrowing locally and competing for the same funds with us in the private sector to fund this infrastructure budget,” Elly Karuhanga, chairman for Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, also founder of Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), told this reporter.
Karuhanga said that while businesses welcomes government’s focus on infrastructure development, as this will facilitate economic activity in the long run, it was being done at too high a price for the private sector. He added that government was also taking long to pay domestic debts which were not only critical in expanding businesses but also in meeting their debt obligations.