Finance Minister Matia Kasaija has explained the genesis of the budget figures that Members have questioned as being illegal and cooked.
While presenting the 2020/2021 budget to the public last week, Kasaija read figures which had not been passed by parliament prompting several MPs led by the budget committee chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi to blast him.
He was later summoned to appear before parliament to explain the circumstances under which it happened.
On Thursday, the Finance Minister told parliament that the government received additional funds from international bodies.
“The difference arose out of a fact that we received additional funding from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and African Development Bank after approval of the budget,” Kasaija told parliament.
He explained that he thought it would be proper to inform the country through parliament during the budget of the additional funding from international monetary bodies and how the government intends to allocate them.
However, the legislators accused the Finance Minister of disrespecting parliament when he went ahead to read what had not been appropriated by the august house.
The speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said the Finance Minister usurped parliament’s powers and asked him to apologize.
However, in defence, Kasaija denied usurping the powers of parliament noting that he was only doing the right thing.
“I only informed the house and country of these additional sources and I will not spend these resources until parliament has appropriated them,” Kasaija said.
“I didn’t say we were going to spend these resources before I come back here (to parliament). I only informed the county and house of these additional resources and we will propose how they will be spent. I will come back to this house to seek appropriation.”
The Finance Minister is accused of reading a shs 673 billion budget in terms of domestic arrears, as opposed to the shs400 billion approved by parliament.
Kasaija is also accused of inflating the figures related to money meant for export promotion in which parliament had approved shs38.5 billion but he read shs138 billion, whereas money meant for the social assistance grant for the elderly was inflated from shs66 billion to shs107 billion.
Whereas parliament approved shs40 billion as a credit to small and medium scale enterprises, in the budget, the minister indicated shs94 billion had appropriated for the same.
Parliament also approved shs103 billion for the recapitalisation of the Uganda Development Bank but the minister read shs1.45 trillion.
The minister is also accused of inflating the funds meant for talent support to shs 256 billion from shs100 billion that had been approved by parliament