By Our Reporter
There will be no foreign travel and workshops for government officials in the new financial year 2021-22 as government cuts budgets to raise Ug.Shs.600bn to fund the nation -wide Covid-19 response .
Minister of State for Finance- general Duties , Mr. Henry Musasizi told the nation that government could no-longer borrow because it had surpassed the 50% debt -to- GDP- ratio now standing at 51.9% and was left with only the option of suppressing the existing national budget which was passed by parliament in June this year .
” This means that activities involving new projects which were earmarked for government financing will not be implemented for now . We have also carried out budget cuts across board -freezing expenditure on foreign travel for government officials , seminars and workshops. This affects all sectors which are not protected ,” Musasizi stated .
The Protected sectors which will not be affected by the new government- hostility financial measures are , Health , Agriculture , Defence/security , and local governments . At least 5,000 Ugandans are expected to get cash relief aid from government -as a stop gap measure for those that have been severely affected by the 42-day nation-wide -lockdown that was announced by President Yoweri Museveni 12 days ago to stem the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic that has left 1,910 dead .
There are at least 1,086 active cases of Covid -19patients in health facilities across the country and 1.3 M Ugandans have contracted the virus since it was first reported in the country in March 2020. So far 990,902 people have been vaccinated .
In a ug.Shs.371.7bn supplementary budget approved by cabinet the health sector will receive Ug.shs.206.3bn, relief aid for Ugandans Ug.shs. 53 bn, Local government 53.7bn ,security 50bn and ICT which will be in charge of a robust risk-emergency communication will receive Ug.Shs 8.1bn.
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