Finance releases Shs 3tn for third quarter

The ministry of Finance on Tuesday released Shs 3.5tn for the months of January to March expenditure for government entities.

This represents 23.4% of the approved government budget of the financial year. Cumulatively, the ministry says, since June 2018, at least Shs19tn has been released to finance government programmes – about 80 per cent of the Shs 32.7tn financial year budget.

Of the money released for the next three months, Shs 1tn will cater for wages and salaries; while Shs 270bn has been earmarked to cater for pension and gratuity.

At least Shs 281bn will go to Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) to cater for outstanding debt while Shs 142bn will go to the Road Fund for road maintenance. Other funded entities include National Medical Stores (Shs 51bn), Shs 1.5bn for the land inquiry, and Shs 95bn for the ministry of Energy. At least Shs 75bn has been released to cater for the Kalangala Infrastructure Services.

The ministry has said accounting officers must prioritize rent and utilities payments. Also, the ministry says, outstanding arrears must be paid before new suppliers are paid.

Accounting officers are also required to submit monthly reports to the ministry and the Office of the Prime Minister on the status of clearing domestic arrears.

“It is the responsibility of accounting officers to ensure timely transfer of funds to the respective bank accounts of education institutions, health units, and all lower local governments,” said Finance in a statement.

For the lecturers in public universities that have been clamoring for salary enhancement, ministry of Finance has said upon confirmation with the ministry of Education, at least Shs 29bn will be released to cater for their demand. Lecturers from public universities are on strike demanding salary enhancement arrears.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd