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Masindi district to prioritise household income enhancement in FY 2024/25

MASINDI, April 3, 2024 – Masindi District Local Government intends to prioritise enhancing household income, increasing agricultural production, and community participation in government programmes in the financial year 2024/2025.

This was said recently by Pamela Nyakato, the Secretary for Finance while laying the budget for the financial year 2024/2025 during the district council meeting.

“The budget is going to focus on priorities like enhancing household incomes through enhancing the Parish Development Model [PDM], increasing agriculture production through provision of improved technologies and extension services, increased community participation in government programmes and ensuring value for money and accountability of public funds,” she said.

According to Nyakato, the district resource envelope for financial year 2024/5 is anticipated to significantly increase from Shs 33.5 billion allocated in the financial year 2023/2024 to Shs 35.7bln, an increment of 6.71 percent.

“The increase in the resource envelope is due to the increase in central government transfers which is going to increase by 6.71 percent and the overall locally raised revenue which is going to increase by 16.70 percent,” said Nyakato.

She further noted that  local revenue is anticipated to be got from billboards, crop husbandry related levies, business licences, court filing fees and penalties among other sources.

The local revenue is expected to  increase from Shs 1.2bln to Shs 1.4bln in the next financial year. Health has been allocated Shs 9bln, education Shs 10bln, production Shs 1.6bln, administration Shs 5.4bln, water Shs 718 million, natural resources Shs 426mln and community based services Shs 650mln among others.

Nyakato also explained that there was a shortfall in releases against expenditure which was due to the under absorption of wage whose performance stood at 45 percent against the annual budget.

She added that this was due to failure in recruitment of staff especially under health and traditional staff.

Nyakato also said that the district is grappling a number of challenges including inadequate staffing levels in town councils, limited community participation in government programmes, negative attitude of tax payers towards payment of taxes among others.

Godfrey Wobugabe, the Deputy Speaker who presided over the council meeting explained that the budget is going to be discussed in the next council meeting before it’s passed.

Meanwhile, government presented a Shs 58.34 trillion national budget for the 2024/2025 financial year last Thursday, intended to focus on “full monetisation of the Ugandan economy through agriculture, industrialisation, expanding and broadening services, digital transformation and market access”.

The Minister of State for Finance [General Duties], Henry Musasizi, who presented the budget also listed investments in wealth creation initiatives, investments in social sectors like education, health and water, as well as manufacturing, as the other priority areas.

“The key priority areas include peace and security, road maintenance and construction of a few strategic road and construction of the standard gauge railway, electricity transmission and utilisation of existing energy stock,” he said during the plenary sitting of the House.

The national budget is tabled before April in accordance with Section 13 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015, which states that, “The Minister shall, on behalf of the President, present the proposed annual budget of a financial year to Parliament, by the 1st of April of the preceding financial year.”

The new budget estimates indicate a rise by Shs 5.64trn compared to the 2023/2024 budget that amounted to Shs 52.7trn.

The proposed budget was accompanied by five tax bills including the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2024, the Stamp Duty [Amendment] Bill, 2024, the Tax Procedures Code [Amendment] Bill, 2024, the Value Added Tax [Amendment] Bill, 2024 and the Income Tax [Amendment] Bill, 2024.

According to Section 13 of the Public Finance Management Act, the budget for the succeeding year must also be accompanied by among others, a list of accounting officers, a statement on multi-year commitments to be made by government in the financial year and a certificate indicating the budget’s gender and equity responsiveness.

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