Oulanyah Directs That 2021/2022 Budget Be Approved By 15th March
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has directed that 2021/2022 budget be approved by 15th March.
Oulanyah told MPs that the 10th Parliament is mandated to complete the budget process before the 11th Parliament starts on 20th May.
He asked the government to ensure that all ministerial policy statements on the coming financial year budget are strictly in the House by 15th March to enable them fast track the budget.
In the previous years, different Ministries have failed to meet this set deadline, which affected the consideration of the budget.
The Public Finance Management Act 2015 provides for the budget consideration and approval timelines and it requires Parliament to complete the entire process by the 31st May of each year.
However, this date set by the Act is not favorable to the 10th Parliament since it will wind up before 31st May and therefore a shorter time for the MPs to consider and approve the budget.
“We have a challenge that this Parliament will not exceed the 20th of May, because by this time, a new Parliament will have started sitting. What that means we don’t want to hand over this budget process to the next Parliament because it would be too difficult for the next parliament to begin processing it,” said Oulanyah.
Oulanyah noted that they have two weeks less according to the set timeline left for them to finish the business something he said would require alterations in the way that Parliament will be processing the 2021/2022 financial year.
“The Ministers, Government Chief Whip please ensure that by 15th March, all Ministerial Policy Statements are in the House to enable the alternative policy statements to be brought by 29th March and then the Committees will expeditiously work on these things to be able to achieve what we must achieve by the date when this parliament will not be operational,” he directed.
The Deputy Speaker added that Parliament will also expect the Ministry of Finance to prepare all the budgetary documents including the proposed annual budget to be submitted to the House by the 1st April PFMA deadline.
He however said that the challenge would then be with the lengthy processes after 1st April that involves the consideration of the Appropriation and Revenue Bills.
Oulanyah said that this process should this time round be really quick and that the timelines in the Rules would be altered for Parliament to adopt all the committee reports and Bills latest May 15 instead of the usual May 31.
This alteration means that Parliament Committees handling different sector budgets will have less time to finish the budget business.
The President-Elect is expected to take oath on May 12 and Members of the 11th Parliament will then take oath from May 17 to 19. The 11th parliament will commence on the 20th of May.
Oulanyah says there is a need for the budget process to be completed by the time all these activities come into play.
The Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa suggested that Members of Parliament be required to adjust their programs and dedicate more time to the budget throughout the week.
Oulanyah said that the bigger burden will lie with the committee which he said will have to work even on weekends to achieve the new timeline.
David Bahati, the State Minister of Finance for Planning assured parliament that the ministerial policy statements will be submitted as early as next week.