By UTN ReporterKampala - The National Budget for the financial year 2017/18 will pay much emphasis on oil production, as a way to combat the falling donor assistance and avoid borrowing. The director for Budgeting in the Ministry of Finance Kenneth Mugambe says the national Budget is set out clearly to streamline oil production, with an infrastructural development framework to guide them.
Mugambe was speaking at a Pre-Budget Dialogue organized by the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group in Kampala. Mugambe says emphasis will be paid to construction of roads that run through all the oil wells, the ring roads around the area and major roads to transport the resource from the area.
Mugambe says plans are already under way to construct an air field in Hoima, for easy and timely travel to the area and negotiations for the Pipeline are almost through. The Pipeline will run from Mombasa port into the refinery in Bunyoro. Byte-Kenneth Mugambe
Mugambe says this is a clear alternative to sustain the economy sustainably without necessarily borrowing from any source. Government has been borrowing from internal and external sources to run the economy alongside donor support, to compliment taxes collected.
The budget will also encourage borrowing from the private sector through Public Private Partnership arrangement. Mugambe warned that the 2017/18 budget has maintained all the tax structures, without any waivers.
He stressed that Budget discipline is going to be key in the next financial year. He says changes will start with restructuring the civil service structure to create proper administrative units, and carry out the rightful recruitment.
Mugambe says resources are available to carry out activities, but the structures are dead. This Financial Year, the ministry of Finance has adopted the Program Based Budget, with numerous challenges in areas of setting targets and monitoring the particular departments for accountability.
Mugambe says the process will need close resource monitoring, especially in the civil service with support from USAID, IMF and other donor agencies.