Kampala, Uganda — The Ministry of Finance says the budget for the financial year 2022/2023 will mainly focus on addressing health and economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic, among other key issues.
Presenting a statement to the Budget Committee on Wednesday, 27 April 2022, the Minister of State for Finance, Henry Musasizi, said that the government will focus on the full economic recovery of the country to pre-pandemic levels.
This, he said, will be done through socio-economic transformation of 39 percent households in the subsistence economy to a money economy, and strengthening the areas of health and economic infrastructure.
"One of the key priorities of government that will push for socio-economic transformation is financing the Parish Development Model and enhancement of pay for scientists, among others," Musasizi added.
The Minister said that despite the current rise in prices of commodities, inflation remains in an acceptable range.
He further submitted that the tax revenue-to-GDP ratio is at 13.2 percent, which is above the National Development Plan target of 12 percent, which dropped because of the pandemic.
However, the Chairperson of the Budget Committee, Patrick Isiagi, said that in the proposed Shs47 trillion national budget, Agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy, is being neglected.
"We are very perturbed to see you make a budget that leaves the Agriculture sector blind. You have slashed budgets of key Institutions like National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) and many others," he stated.
Isiagi said that it is counterintuitive to have a proposed Shs76 billion cut from the Agriculture budget, yet the government is rooting for an agro-industrial sector.
Kassanda North County MP, Patrick Nsamba Oshabe, stated that the figures on inflation are debatable and contrary to the price of household commodities.
"The people are seeing something different when it comes to inflation. We need to know what exactly the government has done to manage the skyrocketing prices," he supplemented.
The Minister responded that the rise in prices of commodities was not necessarily pegged on this but rather on the issue being a global phenomenon due to the pandemic.
However, he said that they will prepare a response on the government's planned intervention in rising commodity prices.
Musasizi further responded to the Chairperson that the budget for the Agriculture Sector was to be revised before the budget is passed.