The Speaker of Parliament Hon Rebecca Kadaga has adjourned the House, sine die, after ministers from the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development failed to appear for plenary.
The House was today expected to adopt amendments in three bills including the lotteries and gaming (amendment) bill, 2017, the income tax (amendment) (no.1) bill, 2017 and the excise duty (amendment) bill, 2017.
“I must express my disappointment with the government because called this House such that we could facilitate the budget process by handling the tax bills, but the owners of the bills are not here, so I adjourn the House sine die,” she said.
Parliament was also expected to adopt a motion on the regulation of foreigners dealing in retail and wholesalers in the country, however the Ministry of Trade, Amelia Kyambadde was also absent.
Government has on several occasions come under criticism by Parliament leadership over dilly dallying on business in the House.
On April 4, 2017 the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah criticized government for slowing business in the house, over none compliance with delivery on ministerial policy statements.
Although the statement had been tabled two weeks earlier, the House learnt that most of them were half baked and lacked key information that would inform the next financial year’s budget. The ministers were ordered to make fresh submissions.
The leader of opposition Winnie Kiiza also blamed the absence of the alternative statements on this delay by ministers.
According to the Public Finance Management Act of 2015, the budget is supposed to be adopted before every May 31, and slow progress is feared to cause unnecessary delays.