MPs Okay Shs4.6 Trillion Ahead of Budget Approval

After rejecting a 7-trillion shilling request by government, Parliament has okayed 4.68 trillion shillings as vote on account.

Vote on account is the money that government is allowed to use within the first four months of the financial year as parliament handles the entire budget.

Aston Kajara, the Minister of state for Privatisation on Tuesday on Tuesday presented the figure of 7 trillion but legislators rejected it saying it represented more than the 30 percent provided for in the constitution.

Article 154 of the constitution stipulates that if the President is satisfied that the Appropriation Act in respect of any financial year has not come into operation, the President may, authorise the issue of monies from the Consolidated Fund Account for the purposes of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the government until the expiration of four months.

Bugweri county MP Abdu Katuntu said that the figure the minister was presenting was equivalent to 50 percent of the budget.

Kajara admitted that although 4.3 trillion is the figure that represented the one third of the budget, government requires 122 billion extra because there are activities which can’t wait for the appropriation act.

The activities that the minister mentioned include the population census, the continuity of the national ID project, compensation of people affected by the oil refinery and to support the East African single tourist Visa and passports.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi urged MPs to support the motion so that parliament handles the pressing issues. He told the MPs that the money government is requesting for does not exceed 30 percent saying that the total budget isn’t 15 trillion but 13 trillion as 2.5 trillion is statutory expenditure.

Despite protests from some MPs, particularly former leader of opposition Nandala Mafabi and shadow finance minister Geofrey Ekanya, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga went ahead to okay the monies saying that the activities that need to be undertaken are for the good of the country.

Parliament passed 1.28 trillion shillings for recurrent expenditure, 19.6 billion for referral hospitals, 26.4 billion for missions abroad and 65.9 billion shillings for local governments.

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