The state minister for general duties in the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Henry Musasizi, on Tuesday tabled before parliament the National Budget Framework Paper (BFP) for the financial year 2022-2023 revealing expenditure cuts of about 1.5Trillion from the current budget.
The National Budget Framework Paper is a summary of expected income and expenditure of a country for a specific period of time.
According to the BFP approved by cabinet on Monday, the resource envelop for next year is going to be about 43trillion down from 44.7trillion in the current budget.
Public Finance Management Act, government is mandated to lay the Budget Famework Paper before parliament for consideration before 31st December and they had to play it today before the house goes for Christmas recess.
While presenting the BFP, Minister Musasizi said the reduction is because many of the projects which appeared in the 2021-2021 frame work paper have expired and the donor support which has gone down. Musasizi was however optimistic that government will be able to raise more funds to finance part of the budget.
“The good news is that on the revenue side, we are seeing a rise. We project to collect more tax revenue than we are collecting this year and that is positive because we are moving towards narrowing the fiscal deficit” Musasizi said.
However, before the minister laid the budget frame work paper, the leader of opposition Matthias Mpuuga Nsamba raised a procedural matter of laying the BFP without debating and approving the Charter of fiscal responsibility as provided in the Public Finance Management Act. Mpuuga noted that the Charter must be debated and approved by the house before the Budget Framework Paper is received by the house.
The Charter of fiscal responsibility among others ensures that government maintains a sustainable public debt level. The speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah, however, told the house that debate on the Charter of fiscal responsibility was not going to be possible because since the house had to break for Christmas recess.
Oulanyah stated that the house had to receive the Budget Framework Paper but debate on the Charter of fiscal responsibility will be conducted immediately when the house return from recess.
The PFMA mandates the finance minister to table the BFP before December 31 and Tuesday was the last day the house was sitting before members break for Christmas recess.
Musasizi stated that next years budget will be centered around how government can improve wealth creation among the population.
In the draft budget, government has allocated funds to Emyooga initiative, Parish Model Project, Women’s Fund, Operation Wealth Creation and other government programs. “We are looking at 100 million for every parish in the country, money for manufacturing and small scale Agro-processing” He said.
Speaker Oulanyah, thereafter, sent the BFP to sessional committees for scrutiny from where it will be forwarded to the Budget committee for further scrutiny. He asked the MPs to utilize the recess period to re-energize themselves so that they can return to house fresh and well committed to serve their country.