By Max Patrick Ocaido
President Yoweri Museveni will today (Thursday) afternoon fulfil his Constitutional mandate to present to Ugandans the annual National Budget for Financial Year 2019/20.
The Shs40.4trilion National Budget is expected to be presented by the minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija on behalf of the President.
Fiscal Year 2019/20 is the fifth and final implementation year of the second National Development Plan (NDP II). As in FYs 2017/18 and 2018/19, the Budget for FY 2019/20 retains the theme “Industrialization for Job Creation and Shared Prosperity.” This theme has run across the annual budgets of all EAC Partner States over the same period, and is in line with the NDP II theme of “Strengthening the country’s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth.”
Like previous National Budgets, the Budget for FY 2019/20 will be implemented in line with the five focus areas of NDPII: Agriculture; Tourism; Minerals, Oil and Gas; Infrastructure Development; and Human Capital Development. The Budget for FY 2019/20 is also the 4th Budget Year of the current National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government. It accordingly addresses itself to the 21 Presidential Directives of the current NRM Government.
Unlike previous years where inline minister (Finance) reads the budget on behalf of the President, the 2017/18 Financial Year was unique in that Museveni presented it by himself in accordance with Article 155(3) which states that, “The estimates prepared under clause (2) of this article shall be laid before Parliament by the President under clause (1) of this article without revision but with any recommendations that the Government may have on them.”
On May 24, 2019, Parliament passed the Appropriation Bill, 2019 where a Shs40.4trillion 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.
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).
Others are; Water and Environment (1 trillion), Public Administration (908 billion), Public Sector Management (789 billion), Parliament (688 billion), Social Development (218 billion), Lands, Housing and Urban Development (193 billion), Tourism (175 billion), Trade and Industry (171 billion), Science and Technology (159 billion), ICT (123 billion).
In his address this afternoon, President Museveni is expected to update the nation on the state of the economy, spell out the immediate and medium term strategies that will stimulate the economy and propel Uganda into Middle Income Status.
Museveni will also update Parliament on the performance of key selected sectors in financial year 2018/19 Budget, and the priorities for the next financial year and highlight the financial year 2019/20 revenue and expenditure framework and measures to enhance domestic revenue mobilization.