Government to adjust budget as economy tries to recover from effects of Covid-19

The Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, has said that the 2020/2021 financial year budget is to be adjusted as the economy seeks to recover from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhakanizi made the remarks during the  launching the E-budget conference yesterday.

The conference was organised by various stakeholders to take stock of the economic effects of Covid-19.

"We need to do budget reallocations taking to account that we are having shortages and also priorities as a result of this crisis,"he said.

He noted that it's unlikely that Uganda's GDP will rise beyond what it is now with anticipation that 2.6 million Ugandans will sink into poverty.

"I hope members of parliament are listening to me. The minister [of Finance] presented a balanced budget, you removed tax measures but you didn't cut the expenditure,"he said.

He noted that this is the time for everyone to be united as the country finds a solution together.

"We have committed ourselves to budget transparency during this process. We want to work with everybody to ensure that the little resources we have are utilised effectively, "he noted.

Regarding midterm access to NSSF funds, Muhakanizi said the problem is not with mid term access.

"If you give 20% to everybody today, I know the need is there but the question is not whether NSSF is capable of paying that money. They are but now they have invested it in assets that mature in the long term," he said.

Ramadhan Ggoobi, a lecturer at Makerere University Business School noted that the budget should be rationalised to focus on the post Covid-19 economic recovery such as health, education and security among other areas.

"We should focus on trade industry, tourism, social development and then housing. These are the drivers which I thought now with Covid-19 need to be looked at and we see how we re-allocate this budget to give them some money not forgetting agriculture, "he said.

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