Government has revised downwards the budget for procurement of new vehicles for Members of the 11th Parliament by Shillings 121 million for each legislator.
This brings the allocation to Shillings 200 million from the initially requested 321 million per MP by the Parliamentary Commission as per the financial year 2021/2022 Budget Framework Paper.
The change is comprised in the 3.48 trillion additional budget that the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija presented before the Parliament’s Budget Committee. This additional budget increases the proposed National Budget from 41.29 trillion initially presented by the Minister last week to 44.77 trillion.
Out of the 3.48 trillion additional budget, government has allocated more 133.6 billion to the Parliamentary Commission as funding for vehicles for MPs (110 billion), funding for office space rent (13.61 billion), and funding for the Parliamentary Institute (10 billion). The total number of legislators in the 11th Parliament is 529 MPs and these are set to be sworn in from 17th to 20th May.
This additional allocation to the Parliamentary Commission has seen an increase in the Institution’s budget from 698.3 billion to 831.9 billion.
Kenneth Mugabe, the Director Budget in the Ministry of Finance says that this additional allocation to Parliament means that there is no any budget shortfall in the Institution for the coming financial year 2021/2022.
David Bahati, the Minister of State for Planning also explained that the funding for MP vehicles has been maintained at 200 million Shillings and that the figure was agreed upon in a meeting with the Parliamentary Commission.
Amos Lugoloobi, the Budget Committee Chairperson said that a similar policy for all public servants regarding purchase of cars should be developed.
Lugoloobi’s position was supported by Charles Illukor, the Kumi County MP who also expressed the same sentiments as Lugoloobi.
Minister Kasaija said that his Ministry will need Parliament’s support to ensure that a similar policy on vehicles is adopted.
Other allocations in the additional budget
Besides Parliament, government has also allocated additional funding to the Judiciary totaling152 billion Shillings for recruitment, roll out of the Electronic Court Case Management Information System and purchase of transport equipment for Judicial officers.
Also provided is 60 billion to the Electoral Commission (EC) to facilitate the relocation of its head quarters, 2.07 billion for the census under the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), 4.5 billion under the Ministry of Public Service to cater for payment of emoluments to former leaders, 7.6 billion under the Ministry of Finance for subscriptions to African Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Development Bank and 2.59 billion to the Leadership Code Tribunal.
The increase in the budget is also on account of external financing increase of 2.88 trillion (including purchase of COVID-19 vaccines worth 480 billion), increase in interest payments worth 143.4 billion, shortfalls on Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment- SAGE 57.8 billion, support to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) 22 billion and others.
Minister Kasaija says that the revised budget amounting to 44.78 trillion is to be financed by domestic revenue projected at 22.43 trillion, Petroleum Fund 200 billion, budget support 3.58 billion, domestic financing 2.94 billion and others.