The 2019/2020 Financial Year National Budget has been unprecedentedly passed without debate.
Parliament on Friday morning convened to consider the Appropriation Bill, 2019 where a Shs40.5trillion budget for the next financial year starting on 1st July, 2019 was passed. The 2019/20 Budget has a 20% increment compared to last year’s Shs32 trillion.
The Budget was however passed without debate to the dismay of some opposition MPs.
“We also do congratulate the House upon passing the budget. But it should be noticed that this is the first budget to be passed without debate, it is really unprecedented. Members who had their opinion were not listened to, it is unfortunate,” Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) who was acting as Leader of Opposition said.
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who presided over the House indeed admitted that “it has been an abnormal year” especially in regards to how the budget has been passed.
Government Chief Whip, Anna Nankabirwa commended the House for successfully passing the Budget, but apologized to the Members considering how the budget process was considered. Nankabirwa called for induction meetings to the Members to facilitate their work.
“I apologize and promise to do better next time. I request that in between the 5years we do another refresher induction including my ministers because if one arm does not perform then even the legislative arm will not perform,” Nankabirwa said.
Highlights of the new budget show that government will spend Shs10.6 trillion on its operations, Shs7.7 trillion as development budget while Shs9.4 trillion is external financing. Among the sectors that will eat big in the new budget include; Works ministry (Shs6.4trn), Education ministry (Shs3.2trn), Energy ministry (Shs2.9trn), Health ministry (Shs2.5trn), Security (Shs3.6trn), Agriculture ministry (Shs1trn), Ministry of Justice (Shs1.6trn) Accountability (Shs1.9trn).
Whereas some ministries registered a huge rise in allocation, some of ministries have suffered a budget cut and among those include; Ministry of Water and Environment from Shs1.2trn to Shs1trn, Lands ministry from Shs202bn to Sh193bn, Science and Technology ministry from Shs184bn to Shs159bn. In a bid to finance the new budget, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is expected to collect Shs18trn while Shs8.5trn will be from domestic borrowing and Shs10trn will be from external financing.