many times I cannot believe when I hear President Museveni praising UPE. One only needs to have figures to understand that UPE is much more of hot air. With the constantly depreciating Uganda shilling,it is shocking news to learn that Government pays shs 450 per child per month.In a term of three months,this is a mere shs 1,350 per child. A kilo of sugar is at shs 2,600,so what the government proudly sings about is just enough to buy half a kilogramme of Sugar in a whole three months. a visit to many of these schools apart from those where parents have been able to get sense of the real situation on ground,the situation is pathetic.When I last visited my former primary school- Namutamba Dem school I nearly cried tears. i would not pick a staff house that is worth staying in by a teacher. Why should President Museveni waste tax payer money on increasing expenditure on politicians (administrative budget) as the sectors which really matter decay on? It is these among other reasons that some of us say Uganda is unfortunate, because it has people who can get the country on course but President Museveni is determined to take it his way.By the time he gets out of leadership, it is only prayers that the damage done will be repairable.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
GOVT FACES GROWING FISCAL DEFICIT UP TO 2013
5 June 2011
Nairobi — Uganda is expecting a fiscal deficit of about 6.8 per cent in the coming financial year, up from 6.2 per cent last year, courtesy of higher expenditure on projects in the energy and transport sectors, as well as rising costs of public administration.
According to Treasury's latest Medium Term Expenditure Framework paper (2011/12- 2015/16), this could force the government to borrow more and thin out its diminishing revenue flows. The fiscal deficit is forecast to hit 7.9 per cent in 2012/13 before slowing down in subsequent years.
Fiscal deficit refers to the excess margin of total government expenditure compared with its overall incomes.
Sharp increases in fiscal deficit levels usually raise government's borrowing costs, diverting resources from vital social services like health and affect a country's standards of living.
Experts said the surging deficit could push up lending rates, reducing private sector's access to credit. Pressure for Kampala to embrace fiscal discipline have gained urgency as inflation rose to double digit figures in the past months on the back of high food and fuel prices.
"The projected increase in the fiscal deficit will necessitate higher government borrowing from the banking system and recent gains in treasury yields will certainly entice many banks into considerable government lending," said Bill Page, Partner at Deloitte and Touche Uganda.
"But expenditures supported by government borrowing are best utilised if they are spent on major infrastructure projects such as power generation, that are critical in stimulating economic growth. The long term growth in tax revenues generated from such sectors could offer a good trade-off for the 'crowding out effect' against private sector borrowers," he added.
Uganda's budget is projected to hit Ush9.2 trillion ($3.8 billion), up from last year's Ush7.3 trillion ($3.1 trillion). External budget support is projected at 24.5 per cent while domestic financing is equivalent to 9.2 per cent, coming from savings from the energy fund and tax proceeds from recent capital gains liabilities derived from the oil and gas sector.
More so, government's intentions to utilise treasury bonds for borrowing operations alongside liquidity management will help deepen monetary policy actions under the new inflation targeting regime.
Dr Fred Muhumuza, Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development said in a statement: "Projected growth in the fiscal deficit is linked to rising expenditure needs in our development priorities but we intend to redirect resources towards the most deserving areas.
Though revenue collections have struggled in the past financial year, we are counting on the projected growth in total gross domestic product from Ush34 trillion ($14.2 billion) to Ush38 trillion ($15.9 billion) in the next financial year to mitigate the stagnant tax to GDP ratio of 12.5 per cent which will in turn increase the overall revenue base. "