Economic and budget experts have expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Budget Framework paper was done.
The experts say the budget framework paper in its current form, will not lead Uganda to middle income status, as it has many loopholes and unrealistic projections.
The executive director; Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) Julius Mukunde, enumerated the loopholes which he said include; limited information content, lack of budget formulation participation by various stakeholders and limited access to budget information among others.
He was addressing participants who turned up to attend Civil Society pre-budget dialogue 2018/19 and Uganda’s 2020 middle income status, at Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Conference hall in Kampala on Thursday.
“The current National budget framework paper is so thin and lacks adequate information, whereby it’s a dream for such budget framework paper to address the NDP 11 projections”, he said.
The budget discussion was also attended by legislators, who said they cannot make the desired changes in the budget; “without participation of civil society”.
“Yes, our hands are tied, unless you civil society come out to support us to realize middle income status come 2020”, said Sylvia Akello, the Otuke district woman MP.
She added that Ugandans should work with legislators to advocate for better service delivery.
On his part, MP for Lugazi municipality Isaac Mulindwa attracted bitter reactions when he said some Ugandans have already reached the middle income status and that the rest will catch up with time.
“Ugandans can’t reach middle income status when the youth are consuming illegal potent gin (waragi) and wasting their time in sports betting halls. Something needs to be urgently addressed to arrest the situation”, he said.
Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga, MP for Mukono South, said some of the money government is paying back in form of servicing debts, does not benefit Ugandans.
“We should borrow money when there is need to do so”, he said.
Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi, the director of programs at Uganda Debt Network called upon government to motivate Ugandans to work.
“About 60 per cent of youth are unemployed, yet they comprise the biggest number of energetic Uganda’s population”, he said.
By Ambrose Gahene