Finance Minister: Matia Kasaija.

Members on the Budget Committee are scrutinising a Shs3.8 trillion supplementary budget, of which Shs1.3 trillion has already been spent as being within the limit allowed by the Public Finance Management Act.

Section 25 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act allows accounting officers, subject to the approval of the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Treasury to spend up to an additional three per cent more of the appropriations made to it without prior approval by Parliament.

Those over and above three per cent and requiring prior approval by Parliament includes a request for Shs11.4 billion to ‘meet the outstanding PAYE and Withholding Tax for the Commission of Inquiry into Land matters.

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The State House needs Shs272 billion to fund Kiira Motors with Shs104 billion for classified expenditure.

In Office of the Prime Minister, Shs176 billion is earmarked for external financing for the World Bank for the Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) for refugee schools, hospitals, roads and bridges in 15 districts.

The Defense Ministry requires Shs146 billion out of which Shs131 billion to cater for shortfalls on wage, pension, medical expenses, food, clothing, machinery, residential buildings and the National Housing Corporation, with Shs15 billion going to classified expenditure.

Political parties represented in Parliament will bag Shs35 billion if the request is given a green light by the Legislature.

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development wants Shs10.7 billion; musicians will get Shs7.7 billion as support to host e-concerts.

Shs3 billion will be dedicated to mounting a mindset-change campaign in readiness for the rollout of the parish model initiative.

Uganda Police Force is in need of Shs60.1 billion to fingerprint guns as directed by President Museveni in 2018, and some for classified expenditure.

Appearing before the Committee, Finance State Minister, Henry Musasizi decried the slow growth of the economy, which he attributed to the current Covid-19 lockdown.

“The current lockdown measures instituted to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic have negatively impacted on the level of economic activity and consequently disrupted the revenue performance momentum,” he said.

To finance the request, the Finance Ministry, said Hon Musasizi, will do budget suppression totaling to Shs1.2 trillion, a move that did not amuse Shadow Attorney General, Wilfred Niwagaba.

“Which legal framework gives the Ministry powers to suppress budgets already passed by Parliament,” he said.

The Committee will scrutinise and report to the House on suggestions to dispose of the requests.