Following the revelation that the government does not have enough money to fund all of its priorities stated in the passed budget, the government may fail to meet all of its objectives in the new fiscal year.
As a result, a number of sectors received less funding than anticipated for the quarter. But what impact do these under releases have on the economy and service delivery?
Only sh8 trillion, or 18.5% of the initial planned 25%, of the shs48.1 trillion budget for FY 2022/23, was released for the first quarter.
In an interview with Nile Post, Henry Musasizi, State Minister for General Duties in the Ministry of Finance, attributed this to the economy’s poor performance and the need to control the spilling inflation.
“We had to manage the inflation levels , they didn’t release the development budget,” Musasizi said.
The shs8 trillion released will cover the wage bill, a portion of the non-wage bill, and shs661 billion in outstanding arrears. Extra Shs 200 billion has been released to cover sectors such as roads.
Protected votes, such as those in the State House, Defense, Parliament, and the Judiciary, are not affected by the under release.
With no releases, the development budget suffers the most.
According to Musasizi, the government usually alleviates such shortages by borrowing, but this is not an option in the current economic climate.
In a separate interview, the shadow finance minister, Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, told Nile Post that budget funds not released indicate poor budgeting processes and implementation, which breed corruption.
Kivumbi believes the under releases are a ploy by the ministry of finance to game the budgeting system.
“It gives the ministry of finance officials desecration powers, who they should give what amount of money to and who they should leave out,” he said.
Critics have previously expressed concern that the under releases will have a significant impact on the Parish Development Model’s early implementation.
Denis Ssozi Galabuzi, the National Coordinator of the PDM Secretariat, allayed these fears by telling Nile Post that all expected funds for the quarter had been released.
“The PDM has not been affected by the 1.9 trillion or 100 million allocated to each parish.” “Will be distributed as planned,” he stated.
Although each parish will receive sh100 million in the fiscal year, this will be divided and distributed quarterly.
“We’re releasing 25m, 50m, and 25m. We had originally stated that we would achieve 50m in accordance with the agricultural seasons,” he added.
Ggalabuzi believes that the quarterly releases will provide the government with enough time to fine-tune the new programme.
“We are 50% of the 9.8 million households, and we have data on 5 million households so far.” He stated