Tourism among most affected sector as 2024/25 budget is slashed by Shs2.8 trillion

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Tourism among most affected sector as 2024/25 budget is slashed by Shs2.8 trillion
Tourists in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Ministries, departments, and agencies are set to undergo significant budget cuts in the 2024/25 national budget, amounting to Shs2.8 trillion owing to a reduction in donor support and the increased cost of servicing the country's public debt.

This was revealed to Parliament's tourism committee by  the Minister of State for Tourism, Martin Mugarra.

"On April, 3, 2024, the Ministry of Finance communicated budget cuts to several MDAs, and the tourism MDAs were not spared. Total cuts across the MDAs amounted to Shs2.8 trillion, resulting from the gaps created by the increase in the debt servicing costs and reduction in budget support from development partners," said  Mugarra.

The announcement has prompted the tourism committee to scrutinize the budgets of the ministries of tourism and trade along with their associated agencies.

Mwine Mpaka, the committee chairman and MP for Mbarara City South, explained that the agencies will need to present detailed costings for the activities planned in the upcoming fiscal year.

"We invited them here to give us the costs of their workplans. We want to understand, if it's a workshop, how many people are going to attend the workshop, how much you're giving each person, so that when we appear before the budget committee, we can ably defend the expenses. If we can't justify certain costs, we will concede, and that money will be reallocated somewhere else," Mpaka stated.

The looming budget cuts have raised concerns about the impact on Uganda's tourism sector, a vital contributor to the nation's economy.

The need for detailed budget assessments will likely shape discussions around resource allocation in the coming weeks.

Officials in the Tourism Ministry are expected to provide comprehensive breakdowns of their projected expenditures to justify their budget requests.

Uganda's international tourism receipts reached $1.4 trillion in 2023

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