Parliament Scrutinises Sh3.5 trillion Supplementary Budget

The Budget Committee of Parliament has started scrutinizing the sh3.5 trillion supplementary budget aimed at financing key infrastructure projects for the Financial Year – FY 2022/2023.

According to the supplementary budget framework paper presented to the Committee by Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for Finance, 318 billion is to finance the Electricity Access Scale-Up Project (EASP) under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

The Minister of State for Energy, Sidronious Okasaai Opolot revealed that out of the money the Ministry is seeking, 128 billion is budgeted to connect 200,000 households across the country in the current financial year.

“Since July 2023, the EASP has been operational but requires additional funding to operationalize some of the activities,” said Okasaai. “The Ministry’s supplementary request includes 30 billion to cover startup costs for Karuma Hydro Power Plant, such as plant insurance, permits, service contracts, and specialized tools.”

Okaasai told URN in an interview that part of the Ministry’s supplementary budget, 58 billion Shillings will finance shortfalls on the contractual obligations for deemed energy, under the Lira-Agago transmission line for the Achwa-Agago Dam.

The supplementary budget includes 197 billion for road construction, 47 billion to facilitate the deployment of medical interns and their allowances, and 37 billion for the ongoing renovation work at Commonwealth Speke Resort Munyonyo ahead of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of G77 (G77) Summits scheduled for January 2023.

Wilfred Niwagaba, the Ndorwa County East Member of Parliament warned that the Ministry must deliver on its mandate citing power unavailability in his constituency yet it is the source of power generation.

Meanwhile, the Budget Committee Chairperson, Dicksons Kateshumbwa, also the Sheema Municipality legislator expressed concern over vast sums of money spent on deemed energy and urged the Ministry to use the supplementary to start using energy efficiently.

The Committee demanded that the Ministry share the road map for the implementation of the 200,000 connections across the country. Statistics from the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) show that as of 2022, only 1.7 million households are connected to the national electricity grid.

With funding from the World Bank, the government is implementing a five-year Electricity Access Scale-up Project to increase access to electricity for households, refugee and host communities, industrial parks, commercial enterprises, and public institutions.

The project is intended to spur socio-economic transformation, in line with Uganda’s Vision 2040, the National Development Plan (NDP) III, the 2018 – 2027 Electricity Connection Policy (ECP) adopted in January 2018 and to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) of achieving universal energy access by 2030.

In May 2023, Parliament passed the 2023/2024 National Budget which was increased from UGX 48.13 trillion for FY 2022/23 to UGX 52.7 trillion for FY 2023/24, representing an increase of 9.5% from the previous financial year.


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