CSO Post-Budget Dialogue 2016

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pbd3On 16th June 2016, CSBAG organized a post budget Dialogue that involved putting the 2016/2017 budget of shs. 26.3 Trillion into Context that will deliver the desirable quality services to the citizens as announced in the national budget speech FY 2016/2017 by the finance minister Matia kasaija on 8th June 2016. This brought together various CSOs, NSAs, private sector, media, farmers and other stakeholders at UMA Conference Hall Lugogo.

The participants presented on some of their achievements as NSAs in influencing the budget FY 2016/17 where they pointed out that there was at least an increase on the allocation of funds to the agricultural sector by 65% as they had suggested in the budget consultative meetings held, engaged the government on the financial management act, the government increased the engagement of citizens and CSOs in the consultative budget meetings. In addition they also pointed out areas that need to be improved for example tax management areas through continuous assessments, government stopping domestic borrowing since it has the capacity to face the World Bank, IMF and other international banks to get credit so as to reduce on the high interest rates that will encourage the private sector to acquire credit from these banks, supplementary budgeting should be avoided by the government it’s a sign of poor planning unless there disasters.

Mr. Kenneth Mugabe the Director Budget Ministry of Finance and Economic Development presented on the opportunities of implementing the FY 2016/17 budget in achieving quality service delivery and the challenges where he pointed out an improvement on the budget allocation especially on the education, agricultural and health sectors. The main aim is to enhance productivity for job creation for example in the agricultural sector the opportunities include the provision of improved breeding, planting materials and pesticides, construction of irrigation infrastructure, financing commodity storage through the Agricultural credit facility, establish an Agricultural insurance scheme to reduce on risks, enhanced stakeholder collaboration especially CSOs and NSAs to promote better service delivery and others which aim at promoting sustainability in the agricultural sector.

pbd1Some of the challenges include trade deficit, high interest rates in commercial banks that discourage the private sector from accessing credit or loans for investment purposes, corruption and weak public investment management for project identification, formulation, implementation and evaluation, poor coordination, monitoring and supervision and lastly technological challenges.

In the participants concluding remarks, in order for the government financing and expenditure options to effectively and efficiently enhance the socio-economic transformation through providing quality services to the citizens, there’s need for increased budget monitoring, transparency and accountability to fight corruption through re-appointing and removal of accounting officers who fail to account for the public funds.

There is also need for increased collaboration with the stakeholders for example CSOs and NSAs in service delivery, increased inspection and supervision in all sectors, support to private sector growth through increased access to capital, capacity building and the promotion of the local content, domestic borrowing from the local commercial banks in Uganda should be totally pbd5reduced by the government so as to reduce on the competition with the private sector which in the end will lower the interest rates and will attract more investors to acquire credit for investment.

Additionally, the agricultural budget is fair but more emphasis should be put on value addition on our agricultural products and as citizens of Uganda and much more better services can be delivered as the government and the CSOs continue working together in the budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes.

By Lillian Nyangoma
FRA Intern