Uganda: Museveni Wants 2020/21 Budget to Lower Cost of Doing Business

Yoweri Museveni.
13 September 2019

President Museveni on Thursday tasked Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to ensure that the budget for Financial Year 2020/21 lowers the cost of doing business in order to spur economic growth and job creation.

The proposed priorities in the coming next financial year budget seek to harness economic gains Uganda has made over the years and propel the country to middle income status in the coming years.

However, the private sector in Uganda is still constrained by high electricity tariffs and high cost of credit, among others.

In a speech read by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda during the National Budget Conference in Kampala yesterday, Mr Museveni said: "The private sector is particularly crucial for the growth of our economy. It is, therefore, critical for our private sector players to be engaged in these budget consultations so they can make revenant proposals to the government to address specific challenges that hinder their growth."

He added: "Priority should, therefore, be accorded to the interventions that support private sector growth. I also urge all stakeholders, including non-government actors, to support the government vision of transforming our economy. This way, we shall be able to address the problems of youth unemployment, the subsistence economy through increased exports and mobilise adequate resources to finance our development needs," he added.

Mr Museveni explained that over the last 10 years, the NRM government has made significant strides in building the infrastructure base to support growth, wealth creation and provision of social services.

"The infrastructure stock we have now, especially in energy, transport, ICT agriculture, health and education, is adequate enough to make the economy competitive, both in terms of supporting the growth of the productive sectors and delivery of critical social services to the masses," the President's statement reads.

Pledge

Mr Museveni also said power generation has increased from 601 megawatts in 2011 to 974.2 megawatts by the end of 2017 and that the capacity is expected further increase to 2,000 megawatts by the end of the year when Karuma hydropower project is commissioned.

The World Bank country manager, Mr Antony Thompson, said during the 13th and 14th joint transport sector review workshops, it was agreed that allocations for road maintenance would rise to 24 per cent of the roads' budgets in Financial Year2019/20.

"However, based on the budgetary allocations for FY2019/20, roads development still takes the biggest share of the budget at 90 per cent; with road maintenance only allocated 7 per cent. As a result, current road maintenance financing can only meet about 26 per cent of the needs, leaving a big chunk of the road network unattended to. This presents a precarious situation for the sustainability of the roads asset base if it can't be maintained adequately," he said.

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