Parliament has approved supplementary spending amounting to Sh3.81 trillion for COVID-19 related interventions and emergency expenditure to mitigate natural disasters, security interventions, Government commitment, support to the economy and boost economic recovery.
Of the Sh3.82 trillion supplementary under schedule one, a total of Sh2 trillion was allocated for recurrent expenditure and Sh1.8 trillion was allocated to development expenditure.
The Budget Committee, chaired by Patrick Isiagi Opolot, told the House that the Committee had considered the supplementary request by Government with adjustments after consulting with various Ministries, Departments and Agencies and proposed for the approval of the same.
However, the shadow finance minister and also Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, presented a minority report demanding that the supplementary estimates should be backed by evidence of the source of funding and be carefully scrutinized.
He challenged the illegal budget cuts, indiscipline of supplementary expenditures within the 3% legal limit, inadequate due diligence by the minister responsible for finance, the escalating trend of supplementary expenditures, and the consumptive appetite of the Government.
Kivumbi also challenged the budgetary indiscipline by the ministry of finance, planning and economic development, supplementary expenditures higher than approved budgets, and the dishonesty in the charter of fiscal responsibility.
Kivumbi was concerned that many supplementary expenditures do not fit the requirements of Regulation 18(3) of the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Regulations which bestows initial responsibility to the Minister responsible for Finance to approve the supplementary budget of up to 3% of the total approved budget for the financial year.
He said that the supplementary requests were submitted for items that were foreseeable at the time of preparation of the budget.
He gave an example of the Sh400b which was approved for the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs for shortfalls on wage, pension, medical expenses, food, clothing, National Defense College recurrent errors and compensation to the National Housing Authority.
Kivumbi was also concerned about the escalating trend of supplementary expenditures. He noted that in the Budget Speech for FY2021/22, Government committed to undertaking reviews of public expenditures to improve efficiency.
“This was affirmed by the Secretary to Treasury who informed the Committee during the consideration of the Charter for Fiscal Responsibility that the Ministry had undertaken a study and stance on supplementary expenditures,” said Kivumbi.
On October, 21 2021, the Minister of Finance laid before Parliament supplementary expenditure estimates under schedule No.1 amounting to Sh3.819 trillion which is 8.5 % of the approved budget of Sh44.778 trillion for the Financial Year 2021/22.
Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko noted that the ministry of finance’s role is to move in its excess money from its collection fund to unforeseen priorities.
“The question is where did the money come from?” Nsereko wondered.
Nsereko also asked Government to review the matter on the management of Atiak sugar factory before proceeding to spend more money on it.
In response the Deputy Speaker, Anita Among said that the money is going to the Uganda Development Corporation and not Atiak sugar factory.
Musasizi assured Parliament that the supplementary request fully complies with all the legalities entailed in the Public Finance Management Act.
He promised to engage the MPs to take up recommendations brought forward to him by the majority and the minority report of the Budget Committee.