Inside Uganda’s Approved UGX72 Trillion Budget for FY 2024/2025

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Uganda’s Parliament approved a substantial national budget for the fiscal year 2024/2025, setting an ambitious Shs72.136 trillion financial blueprint after ratifying the Appropriations Bill 2024 on May 16.

This budget marks a notable increase of Shs14.050 trillion from the earlier projection of Shs58.34 trillion, underscoring a significant fiscal expansion aimed at propelling the nation’s growth.

The budget comprises recurrent expenditure of Shs18.9 trillion and development expenditure of Shs34.7 trillion, with the total amount including statutory expenditure at Shs72.136 trillion.

During a marathon parliamentary session chaired by Speaker Anita Among, which extended from morning till near midnight, MPs engaged in intense deliberations, advocating various fiscal strategies they believed would best serve the national interest. In terms of revenue generation, the budget anticipates Shs32.3 trillion from domestic sources, comprising both tax and non-tax revenues.

Additional financial streams are projected from budget support mechanisms like grants and loans amounting to Shs1.3 trillion, alongside Shs8.9 trillion through domestic borrowing. The framework also includes Shs9.5 trillion from project support and a significant Shs19.8 trillion earmarked for domestic debt refinancing.

Budget allocations

From the resource envelope, Shs3.1 trillion is allocated for external debt repayment, Shs9.5 trillion for project support, Shs12 trillion for domestic refinancing, Shs9 trillion for interest payments, Shs293.9 billion for appropriation in aid, Shs603 billion for Bank of Uganda recapitalisation, Shs200 billion for domestic arrears, and Shs9.1 trillion for domestic debt repayment under Bank of Uganda, take a first expenditure call.

The budget prioritizes human capital development with an allocation of Shs9.9 trillion, representing 26.3% of the total budget, channeled towards enhancing education, healthcare, and skills development. Governance and security are also high on the agenda, receiving Shs9.1 trillion to strengthen law enforcement and national security infrastructure. Additional allocations include Shs5.1 trillion for integrated transport infrastructure and services, Shs2.3 trillion for development plan implementation, and Shs2.0 trillion for private sector development.

Significant investments were also directed towards key sectors and initiatives, including sustainable energy development (Shs1.0533 trillion), administration of justice (Shs481.4 billion), legislation, oversight, and representation (Shs978.6 billion), climate change and environment management (Shs682.6 billion), and Digital Transformation (Shs230.9 billion).

Presenting the report, the Deputy Chairperson of the Budget Committee, Remigio Achia, emphasised the need to strike a balance between infrastructure and human capital development as well as re-engage development partners, especially under the programme of human capital development. “Investments in social sectors, especially health, education, and social protection, have a direct impact on poverty and income inequality,” Achia, also Pian County MP, said.

Achia also highlighted an allocation of Shs362 billion towards the Uganda Secondary Education Expansion Project for the construction of 60 seed schools in sub-counties without secondary schools and the expansion of 61 existing government secondary schools, with special consideration for refugee-hosting districts and transfers to the Uganda National Examinations Board to facilitate the equating of student refugee results. The Minister of State for Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (General Duties), Henry Musasizi, provided insights into budget financing, stating, “Shs34.3 trillion is for appropriation and Shs37.8 trillion is statutory.” The budget will be financed through domestic revenue, budget support, petroleum fund transfers, and other sources.

Musasizi emphasised the strategic focus of budget investments on peace and security initiatives, road maintenance, railway rehabilitation, and construction projects.

AFCON 2027

Notable allocations include funding for the Hoima and Akii-Bua stadia construction ahead of hosting the African Cup of Nations in 2027 and the initiation of the Standard Gauge Railway construction.

Shs30 billion has also been allocated to kick-start the process of establishing Busoga and Bunyoro universities. “The investments shall be directed towards peace and security, maintenance of roads and construction of a few strategic ones as well as rehabilitation of the metre gauge railway and construction of standard gauge railway,” Musasizi said.

The budget approval process also saw parliamentary discussions and perspectives from Members of Parliament, including concerns over public debt raised by Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kiira Municipality, Wakiso), who noted, “Next financial year we are going to spend Shs 34 trillion servicing a debt and yet the country thinks we are processing a budget.” Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM, Lwemiyaga County) expressed surprise over the addition of Shs14 trillion to the budget. However, Geoffrey Ekanya (FDC, Tororo North County) defended the move to increase the budget, stating that Members of Parliament had pleaded for funding for local councillors’ ex-gratia.

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