Shs.72 TRILLION BUDGET: Heated reactions among Ugandans

The new budget, one of the largest in the country's history, promises significant investments in infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

As the Ugandan government unveiled its colossal Shs.72 trillion budget for the financial year 2024/2025 last week, reactions from the public are pouring in with a mix of optimism and skepticism.

The new budget, one of the largest in the country’s history, promises significant investments in infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

The Shs.72 trillion budget also aims to bolster economic recovery and growth following the global pandemic’s impact.

“Finally, we see a Shs.72 trillion budget that addresses the critical sectors!” said Maria Namutebi, a small business owner in Kampala. “If the funds are used properly, it could mean better roads, schools, and hospitals.”

However, not everyone shares Namutebi’s enthusiasm. Critics argue that without stringent measures to ensure transparency and accountability, the massive budget could lead to increased corruption and mismanagement.

“the Shs.72 trillion budget is a huge amount, but where’s the guarantee it won’t end up in the pockets of the corrupt?” questioned John Musoke, a political analyst. “We’ve seen big budgets before, yet many Ugandans still lack basic services.”

Economic Implications

Economists are also weighing in on the potential economic implications. Some worry that the budget’s heavy reliance on borrowing could plunge the country deeper into debt.

Others believe it could stimulate economic activity and create jobs, provided the funds are allocated efficiently.

“The Shs.72 trillion budget has the potential to boost our economy significantly. But it needs careful implementation and monitoring to ensure the intended benefits reach the citizens,” added Musoke.

As the budget discussions continue, many Ugandans are calling for increased vigilance and citizen involvement in monitoring how the funds are spent.

Social media is abuzz with calls for transparency, reflecting on the recent parliamentary exhibition hashtag before the Shs.72 trillion budget was passed.

“Let’s hold our leaders accountable,” tweeted activist Grace Nakiyingi. “This budget can transform our nation if we ensure every shilling is spent wisely.”

With the spotlight on the government’s handling of this record-breaking budget, Ugandans remain hopeful yet cautious. The coming months will be crucial in determining whether the ambitious financial plan will translate into real improvements in their daily lives.

Last week, the chairperson of Pac Central Committee Muwanga Kivumbi who also doubles as the member of parliament for Butambala constituency, has called upon the government to engage in an uncomfortable dialogue regarding the shs.72 trillion Budget for the financial year 2024/2025.

The legislature believes that such a figure is a joke, considering that the total domestic revenue collected since independence is just 45 trillion.

Muwanga was appearing at UBC’s Behind the Headlines program, where he highlighted the need to discuss the Shs.72 trillion budget in relation to domestic funding.

Muwanga said after examining the figures concerning oil equity investment and the debates among the so-called elites, they are all indulging into day dreaming.

He was optimistic that oil revenues would alleviate Uganda’s debt burden. However, the currently carried forward debt has already exceeded 10 billion dollars, as of the last fiscal year.

Citing one of the biggest challenges of the country, Muwanga explained that the country is borrowing in the Shs.72 trillion budget to repay debt, which is primarily domestic and not tied to project support like external borrowing.

On his hand John Musinguzi the commissioner general Uganda Revenue Authority, clarified that they did not raise or revisit the PAYE rate. He however explained that they just expanded the tax register and base.

The budget reflects a significant increase of Shs14.050 trillion from the initial budget proposal of Shs58.34 trillion.

The budget comprises recurrent expenditure of Shs18.9 trillion and development expenditure of Shs34.7 trillion, with the total amount including statutory expenditure standing at Shs72.136 trillion.


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