Min. Kasaija Unveils Record Shs72 Trillion National Budget for 2024/2025 Financial Year

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Kampala, UG – In a grand ceremony at the Kololo Independence Grounds, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, accompanied by the First Lady Ms. Janet Museveni, presided over the reading of Uganda’s 2024/2025 national budget.

This event marks the final year of the National Development Plan III (NDP III), with the next plan set to guide the country’s economic strategy towards achieving Uganda Vision 2040.

The session, formally opened by Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among, saw the presentation of the Shs72 trillion budget by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.

Among emphasized the significance of the occasion, proclaiming, “In accordance with the rule 17(1) of the rule of procedure, I hereby proclaim that Parliament shall sit at Kololo ceremonial grounds on Thursday, 13th June 2024 at 14:00 hours to receive the address of His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the national budget for the financial year 2024-2025.”

Under the theme “Full Monetisation of the Ugandan Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, Expanding and Broadening Services, Digital Transformation, and Market Access,” the budget aims to catalyze significant economic transformation. This budget is also the largest in Uganda’s history, reflecting the government’s ambitious plans.

President Museveni arriving at Kololo

The East African country’s public debt has been mounting as the government of President Yoweri Museveni splurges on big infrastructure projects, prompting warnings from its central bank.

In May, Moody’s lowered Uganda’s sovereign rating, citing increasingly constrained financing options.

Kasaija said in a budget speech that total public debt stood at $24.7 billion at the end of last year and was seen rising to $25.7 billion by the end of this month.

Debt service costs excluding domestic debt redemptions were projected to swallow 40.3% of domestic revenue in the fiscal year that starts in July, up from 33.4% in the current year.

The economy was expected to grow between 6.4% and 7% next fiscal year, Kasaija said, spurred by oil and gas activities ahead of planned crude oil production starting in 2025/26.

The budget deficit was projected to rise to 5.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) next fiscal year, up from 4.5% this year.

“Uganda’s economy has fully recovered from the various external and internal shocks that impacted performance in the past four years,” Kasaija said.

The government plans to spend 72.1 trillion Ugandan shillings ($19.4 billion) next fiscal year.

It will start construction of a $2.2 billion standard gauge railway aimed at cutting the cost of international trade.

Other big projects include the $5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline that is being developed to help the country export its oil via Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Allan Senyondwa, Acting Manager of Policy and Advocacy at the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, discussed the budget’s potential impact during a pre-budget discussion on NTV.

He highlighted the importance of regulatory enforcement, stating, “As a manufacturer, you are literally in the middle of compliance. Our only challenge has been the regulation and its enforcement, so once this aspect is sorted, things will be okay.”

The Ministry of Trade, represented by Permanent Secretary Geraldine Ssali, outlined several measures to be implemented in the upcoming financial year. These include bolstering cooperatives to finance manufacturing, developing appropriate financing mechanisms, and enhancing logistics and trade facilitation infrastructure.

Additionally, the ministry plans to sign bilateral agreements to ensure market access and to amend the Sugar Act to support industrial sugar production.

The unveiling of this substantial budget signifies a crucial step towards the realization of Uganda’s economic aspirations, promising advancements in various sectors and setting a robust foundation for the upcoming National Development Plan IV.

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