With the passing of the 2010 Public Finance Management Act, the budget reading became a ceremonial affair, with the singing of anthems and photo opportunities for disparate dignitaries making a dull affair rather more stoic.
Before the passing of the 2010 Public Finance Management Act, Budget Day reading was one of the most anticipated events on the calendar as the government would unleash all sorts of classified expenditures and more payments on interest rates and may figures that would annoy Ugandans.
The novelty of the Budget Reading Day changed with the passing of the Public Finance Management Act, with the wheels of the Budget calendar turned upside down, meaning Ugandans no longer have to wait for the Budget Reading Day to know what is in the financial year.
But that said, the 2020/2021 is a year like never before.
It is tweny, tweny, as President Museveni, the Chief Executive of the country, has likes to say,to rhyme with the young voters.
This is the #Covid year.
And so, government needed to do things better.
Ugandans expected the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to unveil a budget different from the previous budgets, where chunks of expenditure were taken up by classified vouchers, payment of interest ,security(even as Uganda faces no particular threats) and all sorts of unnecessary expenditures.
Kasaija’s budget today added salt to injury, it was, or is, very strong on taxes but very weak on stimulus packages.
The poor man, the 2020/21 budget confirmed, will die. The rich man will wait for see parousia.
In the 2020/21 budget, the government did not announce any specific interventions to deal with the effects of the Corona virus, even as hundreds of Ugandans have been laid off while some sectors were forced to permanently close shop.
Instead, President Museveni put on a rather bullish mode today, insisting that the emergence of the #Covid-19 pandemic has awakened the government’s long-held stance on propping up domestic production, so as to further stimulate Uganda’s long-suffering Balance of Payment Problems (BoP).
“We are going to be very strict on import substitution. We are also going to promote import substitution, “President Museveni talked of Uganda’s response to the effects of the #Covid pandemic.
President Museveni’s prescription for the effects of the Corona pandemic, however, fly short of what his regional peers in the region have done.