By Our Parliamentary Reporters
Several government ministries and agencies are seeking the intervention of parliament following massive budgetary cuts by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development . Some ministries and agencies have had the budgets slashed by more than half.
The Water and Environment ministry budget has been reduced by Shs87.78 billion in the proposed budget for FY2023/2024 down from Ug.shs. 635.142 billion in the financial ending.
The proposed budget for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has been reduced by Shs354.186 billion. In the FY2022/2023 it was Shs1.577 trillion compared to the proposed Shs1.2 trillion for the FY 2023/2024.
The programme budget for the Lands ministry of Shs104.924 billion is far below the FY2023/2024 prioritized NDP III Programme Budget of Shs522.17 billion and original programme budget of Shs840 billion.
The proposed State House budget for FY 2023/2024 is down to Shs177.568 billion from the current FY 2022/2023, which is Shs274.420 billion. The Public Service ministry’s budget has also been cut to Shs208.167 billion in FY2023/2024 compared to Shs222.692 billion in FY2022/2023.
The Science Technology and Innovation (STI) under the President’s office has been cut too and could halt many on-going development projects of national strategic importance. The STI has been allocated just about Ug.shs. 48bn down from 272bn in the financial year ending . This contradicts President Yoweri Museveni’s directive that science and technology should be prioritised as a driver for economic growth and national development . The STI docket follows under the President’s Office.
“In the same vain, I appeal to the honourable members of 11th Parliament to support and approve the proposed budget of Shs6.795 trillion to enable the programme execute its mandate during the FY2023/2024,” the secretary office of the President, Haji Yunnus Kakande, wrote.
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development’s proposed budget for FY2023/2024 is Shs21.999 billion down from Shs74.984 billion in the current FY2022/2023.
The Education and Sports Ministry permanent secretary recently stated that the allocation for Human Capital Development is set to reduce by Shs83.94 billion from the current allocation of Shs9.098 trillion (FY2022/2023) to Shs9.005 trillion.
Mr Tom Butime, the Tourism Minister, has stated that the proposed Shs89.293 billion is way below the FY2022/2023 approved budget of Shs194.677 billion. Mr Butime explained that the deficit will adversely affect the implementation of the various programmes and attainment of National Development Plan Three (NDP III) target as well as recovery efforts of the Tourism Development Plan.
Sources said that the budget cuts across government operations have been neccesated to allow funding of the Parish Development Model among other priorities .
To justify the severe budgetary cuts that will even render some on-going critical government development projects almost redundant , technocrats at the Finance Ministry argued that as the country continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic domestic resource mobilization is still a big task as business try to bounce back .
President Yoweri Museveni yesterday told politicians and officials in government ministries, departments and agencies （MDAs) to reduce on external travels and channel the savings on developmental projects that would economically transform the country. Several Members of Parliament have come out to say that there need to have a second look at the proposed budget estimates to have equitable distribution of resources especially for those critical projects that are going to spur economic growth and national development.
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