No new salaries despite economy stabilising- Finance

No new salaries despite economy stabilising- Finance
Mr. Ggoobi speaks during the show on NBS TV.

The Permanent secretary and secretary to the treasury Ramathan Ggoobi notes relative stability in the economy attributed to various indicators including:

Availability of foreign exchange which he says is a result of the liberal capital policy and thus, because the investors are assured of taking their profit money, they are more than willing to invest in the economy.

Inflation has also reduced from 2.4% half the target the government had of keeping inflation not more than 5%. Ggoobi also notes that there has been an improvement in export performance with receipts from exports collecting 6.8 billion dollars for the year between September 2022 – 2023, with a 9% decrease in the trade deficit from $3.6 billion to $3.3 billion.

The PSST also boasts of a surplus of $770 million in trade with the East African community. Tourism receipts have also grown back to 1.07 billion dollars in the same year. There has also been a record inflow of foreign direct investment hitting $2.8 billion.

However, these statistics are not without any challenges. Ggoobi reflects on the high cost of money attributed to the global financial situation since many countries are grappling with inflation and have been raising interest rates to curb inflation.

The high interest rates coupled with the fact that the government borrows in a foreign currency have made it slightly hard to borrow for budget support thus affecting budget performance in terms of delayed releases.

With a $23 billion public debt stock, Ggoobi says the government had had to rationalize expenditure and repurpose the budget to prioritize key areas.

For example, the buying of new cars was halted except for ambulances, tractors, revenue mobilization vans for the Uganda Revenue Authority, and security vehicles among others. Travels abroad have also been cut by half, and workshops and seminars cut by 40% among others.

He also promises no salary enhancement for any civil servants albeit a presidential directive of enhancement saying this will be done at a later stage when the economy has stabilized better.

The secretary to the treasury says a supplementary budget will nonetheless be required to deal with Urgencies like Identity card renewal and registration, Population Census, and security among other issues.

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