Parliament questions government's Shs1.1 trillion supplementary budget

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Parliament questions government's Shs1.1 trillion supplementary budget

Government's proposed shs1.1 trillion supplementary budget, with nearly half going toward a pharmaceutical bailout, has sparked fierce debate among members of parliament (MPs).

Critics argue that the government is prioritizing questionable projects while ignoring the country's pressing financial needs.

A breakdown of the budget reveals that Shs578 billion  are earmarked for a bailout of DEI Pharmaceuticals, covering a loan the company obtained from Equity Bank Kenya.

This significant allocation, coupled with other contentious expenditures, has raised eyebrows among opposition MPs and watchdog groups.

Shadow finance minister Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has been vocal in his criticism of the budget, suggesting that it includes projects that yield no direct benefits to the public treasury.

“Most of these projects, parliament has already dismissed, yet they sneak them into supplementary budgets,” he said.

“Usually, President Museveni shows up, and MPs are compromised.”

Other notable allocations within the supplementary budget include;

* Shs18.6 billion  for State House recurrent classified expenditure.

*Shs 37.3 billion  for the Ministry of Finance.

* Shs9 billion for the Ministry of Agriculture.

*Shs 66 billion  for compensating ranchers.

* Shs3 billionfor the Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations.

* Shs380 billion for the Uganda mission to Havana, Cuba.

* Shs135 billion  for the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development.

While supplementary budgets are not uncommon, the significant funds directed towards entities with unclear activities have led many to question the government's fiscal priorities.

MP Betty Nambooze expressed concern over the allocation to DEI Pharmaceuticals, saying,

"This bailout raises serious questions. If the company failed to manage its loans, why should taxpayers shoulder the burden? We need transparency."

The opposition has urged a thorough review of the supplementary budget to ensure public funds are used effectively and benefit the nation as a whole.

As the end of the financial year approaches, MPs are expected to continue pushing for more clarity and accountability in government spending.

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