Government’s increasing level of expenditure has raised concerns and worries among Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) members.
While addressing a press conference on the analysis of the 2022/23 budget framework paper on the CSOs recommended a strategy to reduce on government expenditure brought about by public wastage.
According to the budget framework paper, the total domestic revenue in FY 2022/23, 73% of the projected budget is towards consumptive expenditure and only 27 percent is for development.
“Government has also delayed the rationalisation process of agencies, commissions and authorities as one of the measures for reducing expenditure. Therefore, we call upon the government to expedite the rationalisation process by providing a clear roadmap for the process to eliminate redundancies and improve efficiency,” said Patrick Rubangakene, CSBAG Budget Policy Specialist.
He said there is still a hangover of the sector wide approach to work being exhibited by government entities, citing an example of districts which don’t have approved development plans.
He called on the National Planning Authority together with the ministry of Finance to expedite the implementation of the program-based approach.
“In addition, a change management strategy should be adopted and shared with other Ministries and Departments”, he added.
Martin Kityo, from the Food Rights Alliance said the government should put in place adequate staffing of nutritionists, water officers and health inspectors if the country is to realize a zero hunger strategy.
He said CSOs have noted that staffing gaps remain a challenge. For example,12 districts lack district Water officers, while the current district human resource structure only provides for recruitment of a nutritionist only at a level of a general hospital in local governments.
“We call upon the ministry of Public Service together with the Health Service Commission to create a position of District Food and Nutrition Officer as part of the local government structure,” he said.
Mariam Akiror, Action against Hunger Advocacy and Communications Coordinator, criticised the government’s Parish Development Model (PDM), saying the criteria for allocation of the funds are not clear.
She said the government is proposing to give parishes the same amount of money even though parishes have different population thresholds.
She cited an example of Mutungo parish in Nakawa division of Kampala city, which has a population of 64,663 people, while Ibbiaworo Parish in Adjumani district has a population size of 892 people.