The Opposition Leader of Parliament (LOP), stomach Winnie Kiiza has highlighted has highlighted what she calls lot of mismatch in the 2017/18 national budget as read by the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija on Thursday.
According to the budget, government has picked four priority areas that will help boost the country’s economy so as to meet the Middle income Status by 2020.
The Minister noted that government will focus a lot of strength to boosting Agriculture, Tourism, Oil and Gas and tackling Climate change.
However, these areas are seemingly underfunded according to the leader of opposition which allocations portray a clear mismatch.
A total of Shs846bn has been allocated to agriculture, a representation of only 3 percent, while tourism has been allocated a total of Shs87bn.
“When you look at what was allocated to Agriculture, you wonder, you can’t talk about changing the agricultural sector with 3 percent of the budget and then talk of all the developments,” the LOP wondered.
Kiiza said it was surprising that tourism as the second issue that will help harness development of the economy is only allocated 0.3 percent of the budget.
“You talk of Uganda being ranked as the fourth tourism destination but in the budget allocation you put 0.3 to the one you think will propel the country to the middle income economy. Are you being real?” Kizza wondered.
“That is why I am saying our budget, by reading it Ugandans may think they are going to grow better and better but in reality it is taking us to the worst case scenario.”
The Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation, Gideon Badagawa noted that the budget should be increasingly aligned to ensure that the country is in position to deliver the National Development Plan.
“The challenge that we have now is that, the biggest value chains that we have which are Agriculture and Tourism, are not prioritized in terms of allocation; the budget is talking about many irrigation schemes being established, post-harvest handling facilities but all these resources are not seen in the budget and yet the expectations are very high,” Badagawa said.
Badagawa noted that there is a mismatch which needs to be discussed with the Minister to find were money shall be got to meet the high expectations.