The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Matia Kasaija, has today presented to Parliament Shs.40.5 trillion 2019/2020 financial year national budget revealing that Uganda will finance 74.5% of her national budget.
The Minister also revealed that Uganda Revenue Authority URA) will collect Shs.18 trillion out of which Shs.14 trillion will be raised from non-tax revenue, Shs.445 billion from the Petroleum Fund, Shs.201 billion from local governments, Shs.8.5 trillion from domestic borrowing while Shs.10 trillion will be from external financing.
Delivering the budget to the nation today at the Kampala Serena Hotel International Conference Centre, the Minister further revealed that in the 2019/2020 budget, the Ministry of Works and Transport will take a lion’s share of Shs.6.4 trillion, that of Defence and Security Shs.3.6 trillion, Education and Sports Shs.3.4 trillion, Energy and Minerals Shs.3 trillion, Health Shs.2.6 trillion, Local Government Shs.2.8 trillion and Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Shs. 1.556 trillion.
Minister Kasaija said the theme of the budget is ‘Industrialisation for Job Creation and Shared Prosperity’. He reported that the economy performed well in the outgoing financial year registering a growth of 6.2% despite challenges like unemployment, income inequalities especially between the urban and rural communities, malnutrition and unhealthy life, among others.
He, however, predicted that the economy is set to perform better in the coming financial year noting that all economies of Africa were growing but the East African region was the fastest growing region on the entire African continent.
In his address to Parliament shortly after the budget was presented, President Museveni strongly appealed to all leaders: political, religious, cultural and civic, to use their proximity to the population and educate them on how to work and create wealth.
He said leaders needed to clearly educate the masses that modern life had raised new demands that require people to have money and that there was not place in the world for anyone living outside the money economy.
“You should awaken the population about the realities of modern life that ask them to adapt to modern ways of life without necessarily doing away with the positive elements of our traditional life,” he said.
“Preserving poverty cannot be a tradition. That is why you should sensitise people to get out of subsistence agriculture. To have subsistence farmers in this modern era and you call yourself a leader, is a mockery,” he noted.
“When you transform households and they get income, you will empower and transform the economy. You will boost the population’s purchasing power and in turn boost the country’s revenue collections. We are here presenting a budget but it is being financed by a small fraction of Ugandans, the 32% of the population who are in the money economy while 68% of the population are mere consumers of the budget without making a contribution and we must stop this,” he said.
President Museveni rapped the opposition for using fake excuses that they have failed to sensitise their people on wealth creation because of merely being in the opposition. He reminded them that he did most of the work of mobilising people in North Ankole to embrace modern agriculture when he was in the opposition.
Mr. Museveni also criticized those members of the opposition who advocate violence to achieve political goals like using indiscriminate violence against the population. He noted that this tantamounts to ideological bankruptcy.
He said that the NRM revolutionary methods of work are guided by Patriotism, Pan Africanism, socio-economic transformation and democracy, but the opposition have all the time rejected those Movement methods and heralded use of violence against innocent citizens, assassinations of leaders and destruction of both private and public assets.
“Even when we were fighting, we did not attempt to assassinate leaders and that is the reason I am able to work with the children of former leaders like Idi Amin, Milton Obote, Lutwa, and others because our disagreements were on principle not at personal level,” he said.
“Even while fighting, we never destroyed government assets or assets of those opposed to us. We instead protected them and returned them to the owners,” he added The President used the occasion to warn all those who are in the habit of destroying national assets, especially roads and the power sector; saying that with the new cameras that are being rolled out throughout the country, those criminals will be arrested and will have to pay for the assets they destroy.