The budget committee of parliament has finally approved a supplementary budget request of 46.9 billion shillings. The supplementary budget request was referred to the committee by Rebecca Kadaga; the speaker of parliament shortly after it was tabled before parliament by Fred Omach, the state minister of finance.
Kadaga made decision after MPs disputed the request, which is meant to provide State House with 2bn for wage shortfalls, 4.6bn to the Ministry of Education for wages and 19.5bn to Uganda Police Force. The committee has for the last few days been trying to get supporting documents from the ministry to ascertain the figures before approving the budget.
On Wednesday, the committee received explanations from Kenneth Mugambi, the Director of Budget Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development about the supplementary budget. He explained amongst others reallocation of money, salaries of civil servants, suppressed funds and details of the consolidated accounts.
He explained the Excro account on which UMEME debits money when a government institution fails to pay its bills saying it is managed by Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited.
He also explained that the account is part of a concession agreement between government and UMEME, which is meant to guard the company against loss.
Mugabe also explained that Police needed over 54billion shillings to take care of the wage shortfalls, water and electricity bills arrears but the ministry finance was only able to provide 19billion which will probably necessitate UMEME to debit from the Excro account.
However, Tim Lwanga, the Chairperson of the budget committee advised government to find other ways of clearing the electricity arrears. Alex Ruhunda, the Fort Portal Municipality MP who seats on the committee told the media that he was satisfied by the ministry’s explanations. Ruhunda said that he was initially concerned about the re-allocations and source of the money and salaries of teachers from his constituency
Tim Lwanga says they are putting together a few things on the report that they will present before Parliament on Tuesdaynext week when it reconvenes.