As Parliament starts scrutinizing the National Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2016/2017, CSOs under their body umbrella Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), have raised concerns over the 2016/207 budget proposals, saying Government is not about to provide adequate funding for crucial sectors which greatly affect Ugandans.

CSOs also expressed concern over limited adherence to the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 provision of mainstreaming gender into the national budget through provision on the Certificate for Gender and Equality.

Julius Mukunda the Coordinator of CSBAG also singled out the non-compliance of Ministry of Finance to present the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update’ not earlier than four months before the elections as required by the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 .

“Elections are scheduled for February 18, 2016, if this report is not published, public resources are likely to be used to skew elections and it will be extremely difficult to ascertain how much public resources would have been misused in the process of financing elections,” the CSBAG Coordinator told an array of journalists.

Speaking during a joint press conference at CSBAG offices in Ntinda on Sunday 20th December 2015, Mr. Mukunda said despite the great need to transform Uganda’s agriculture, Government proposes to increase sector funding by Ush 151bn while there are still serious funding gaps such as the foot and mouth disease and Tse-tse-fly control which have a funding gap of Ushs 8bn and 8.5bn respectively.

“Most of the money for the agricultural sector has been allocated for the Operation Wealth Creation which is not legally established. They are giving out only five kilograms of seeds, what can these do for farmers? Ugandans are being hoodwinked.” said Agnes Kirabo the Executive Director, Food Right Alliance.

CSOs urged government to review the agricultural credit facilities to allow small scale farmers’ benefit, and also ensure the establishment of an agricultural bank. They further demanded that all contributions should be quantified and all investments for agricultural development be channeled directly through the agricultural sector rather than in various sectors like roads and water among others.

Source: CSBAG Budget News