The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has directed the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to present final budget estimates for the 2022/2023 Financial Year by Thursday, March 31st, 2022.
Tayebwa made the directive while chairing the House on Tuesday.
He quoted Section 13 of the Public Finance Management Act and Rule 148 of the Rules of Procedure that requires urgent fulfillment of the timelines as stipulated in Section 13(3) of the Public Finance Management Act.
According to the act, 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.
Rule 148(2) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure states that the Speaker shall commit the proposed annual budget to the Budget Committee of Parliament and to a sectoral committee of Parliament, the part of annual budget that falls within its jurisdiction.
Tayebwe, who was making his maiden communication as Deputy Speaker explained that the Minister of Finance must present the budget estimate as per these legal provisions because there was no further time wait.
He also tasked the Finance Minister to table a copy of the gazette of the Charter for Fiscal Responsibility by Thursday, noting that a one-month grace period after approval by Parliament had been overlapped.
Tayebwa also allowed and tasked nine Government Ministries, including departments and agencies to lay their Ministerial Policy Statements with explanations why they failed to meet the March 15th deadline.
They include; Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives, the Auditor General, Ministry Foreign Affairs, Ministry of East African Affairs, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Judiciary, and Uganda Bureau of Statistics under the Ministry of Finance and Planning among others.
During the plenary, the opposition led by Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament laid their alternative policy statements to the House.
Ministerial policy statements set out the performance and plans of spending agencies linking them with their policy objectives.
The statements are used by Parliament to assess sector (Spending Agency) performance under Section 6 (1) of the Budget Act (2001).