The Opposition Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) have joined a section of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to caution government on unnecessary budget cuts for crucial sectors in the FY2023/24.
On Sunday, CSOs gathered at the CSBAG offices and wondered why government has chose to reduce budgets for sectors that directly impact on Ugandans.
Mariam Akiror, the Advocacy and Communication Coodinator at Action Against Hunger decried the budget cuts in the agriculture sector, yet the food insecurity is increasing.
“We are concerned by the proposed budget cuts to the entities within the program that are critical to facilitate food production ad productivity,”she said.
These among others she said Include for example the UNBS budget will be cut from Shs1.1Bn in FY2022/23 to Sh940m, the local government from Shs245Bn to Shs120B.
“To have a direct food secure population, government must direct strategic investiments to water for production, finalise the National Irrigation Master Plan and support interventions geared towards securing land ownership,”she said.
In the same development, while addressing journalisys at the party headquarters on Wednesday, UPC Spokesperson Sharon Oyat Arach said that the party is seriously concerned that the budget cuts that have been recommended in the incoming financial year.
This, she said may go against sustainable growth and development as some sectors of our economy are very much strategic in nature with a lot forward and backward linkages.
“Tourism and wildlife, fisheries and agriculture are very important to our economy. They spur rural development and offer employment opportunities to our people as well as a great source of foreign exchange earner. To effect budgetary cuts, stifles the economic growth and prolongs the post covid -19 challenges,” Arach said
She noted that the country is in a situation that requires allocating more resources as part of the stimulus package for the quick recovery of the economy.
“Our service delivery in health, education sectors is still insufficient, which demands to mobilise more resources to meet the current needs,” she said
“The issues of climate change are with us now and we need to be more ready to invest in areas that lessen the impact. Reforestation ought to be stepped up and exploration as well as production of renewable sources of energy like solar energy, bio-gas need to be allocated more funds. In addition, more resources should be put in both urban and rural electrification, this will help to curb deforestation,” she added
At the same time, Arach said it is not good practice for budget allocations to be made and funds are not released in time or not released completely for some projects.
“UPC therefore advocates the Ministry of Finance to release resources in time to ensure better service delivery,” she said.
According to the National Budget Framework Paper, the FY2023/24 budget hhas been increased to Shs49.9Tn, up from the current Shs48.5tn of FY2022/23.