Minister of State Finance (Planning), Hon Amos Lugoloobi has presented the budget estimates for the 2022/2023 financial year totaling Shs47.2 trillion.
The Public Finance Management Act requires the Minister of Finance to present annual budget estimates by 01 April of the preceding year.
In his presentation during Plenary Sitting on 31 March 2022, Lugoloobi asked the lawmakers to consider the economic environment in which the budget was prepared, citing the inability to borrow over 53.9 percent.
“This is above the maximum requirement of 53.1 percent provided for in the Charter of Fiscal responsibility. Nonetheless, we expect this to be restored to 47.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product over the medium term,” he said.
He laid the annual budget estimates along with the accompanying documents, including the revised National Budget Framework Paper (BFP) 2022/2023, 2026-2027, the Appropriation Bill, 2022, Charter of Fiscal responsibility and Certificate of Gender and Equity Compliance among others.
The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa referred the budget estimates to the Committee of Budget and relevant sectoral committees.
“I request that you look at Rule 148 and 149 of our Rules of Procedure, especially 149 where we have very tight deadlines in which to process this. You need to ensure you report in time,” he said adding that, ’we shall give you enough time to handle the budget at committee level. We shall not have plenary sittings’.
The Shadow Minister of Finance, Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi said that the Ministers of Finance have performed well urging that such standards are kept.
“It is unprecedented; we are reaping benefits from former committee chairpersons appointed ministers. This should be a learning curve to the appointing authority that picking among us, things move smoothly because they know the technical know-how,” Muwanga Kivumbi said.
He however, added that the Treasury Memoranda and list of accounting officers should have been sent to legislators earlier, calling on committees to do the right thing when scrutinising the documents.
“I hope the details in these documents are as smart as the moves made so far,” he said.
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga also applauded the ministers of Finance for beating the deadline.
“Although they began shabbily, they eventually shaped up. I would like to implore them to keep alert,” Mpuuga said.
Parliament approved the National BFP on 28 January 2022 and this formed a basis for the finalisation of budget estimates for 2022/2023.