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Tuesday, 4 September 2007
 
Parliament met at 10.30 a.m. at Parliament House, Kampala.
 
PRAYERS
 
(The Speaker, Mr Edward Ssekandi, in the Chair.)
 
The House was called to order.
 
COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, I want to welcome you and thank you for keeping time. Yesterday we agreed that we would sit from 10.00 a.m. so that we complete the work, which was supposed to have been completed on 31 August 2007.
 
Although I know there was an announcement, which they wanted me to make in respect to the exhibition on climatic change, I declined because I thought it would interrupt us. I do not know whether it is going on down in the hall and whether it might have affected the attendance, but honestly, we are borrowing time. We should have completed this work last week but we did not. Let us really be diligent and use this week to finish the estimates and then next week we start on the Finance Bill, then Appropriation Bill so that by end of this month the process is completed. Anyway, since the time was agreed on, I think there is nothing preventing us from proceeding.
We have to proceed, receive the committee reports and then later, maybe in the afternoon if we have finished receiving all of them, we may continue with the debate on the motion to resolve ourselves into a Committee of Supply so that we can start the supply tomorrow and go on for two days. I think we will be able to finish.
 
10.32
MR ODONGA OTTO (FDC, Aruu County, Pader): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I rise to seek your guidance and advice. Yesterday during the plenary session when we brought up the issue of the Parliament football club, it was agreed that Members make some small contribution to support the Uganda Cranes. Because it is was during the plenary session, it is all over the media that each Member of the Parliament of Uganda has contributed Shs 50,000 to support the Uganda Cranes. However, I realised yesterday that we did not formally pass a resolution that Members of Parliament would make that contribution other than us moving from Member to Member.
 
To make our work easy, I need your guidance because during our match with the Kenyan Parliament, in the programme it indicates that you should hand over a contribution on behalf of the Ugandan Parliament to the Uganda Cranes. I felt that just for formality, since there was agreement yesterday, you will guide us and we see how we get a formal resolution from Members of Parliament.
 
THE SPEAKER: I also heard on CBS that Parliament of Uganda contributed Shs 16 million. Well, this is what the public knows. I think what you are saying is that we should formalise it with a motion. Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, maybe I will start with the Leader of Opposition and then I will hear from you.
 
10.33
THE OPPOSITION CHIEF WHIP (Mr Kassiano Wadri): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. It is not the first time this Parliament has made contributions towards noble causes. I remember in the last Parliament Members were able to make contributions towards the purchase of motor vehicles to facilitate the Police to execute their duties. I think the motion and request put by my colleague, hon. Odonga Otto, is in the right direction. When Uganda Cranes wins, it will be the pride of the entire country. We also do appreciate that the sports department in the Ministry of Education and Sports is one of those departments, which is ill-facilitated. In that light, therefore, I wish to support the idea that Parliament passes a resolution to the effect that every member contributes Shs 50,000 during the month of September towards facilitation of the Uganda Cranes in the forthcoming match. I beg to move.
 
10.34
THE PRIME MINISTER (Prof. Apolo Nsibambi): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I also support the resolution but my worry was what the sanctions against those who do not pay are. I think the solution should be a request because you do not really have sanctions. There are those considerations. Otherwise, we support the resolution depending on how you move it. However, do not make it compulsory. You should request hon. Members of Parliament to pay Shs 50,000 each. Do not use hon. Wadris method of coercion. (Laughter)
 
10.35
MR LIVINGSTONE OKELLO-OKELLO (UPC, Chua County, Kitgum): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I support the Rt. Hon. Prime Ministers position. In this country we love sports and if it is a request, everybody will pay. However, I think the resolution should be amended (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Maybe let us first hear the resolution.
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: I mean the request for a resolution should be amended to read Shs 50,000 or more; why do you restrict the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, for example, who may wish to pay Shs 100,000? Why do you restrict him to paying Shs 50,000? Therefore, let it be Shs 50,000 or more so that those who are willing to pay more can contribute more.
 
THE SPEAKER: Then I think we should hear the resolution. Do you have a formal one? Can you read it?
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Mr Speaker, the following is a motion for a resolution of Parliament to contribute to Uganda Cranes through the Parliamentary Football Club, moved under rule 46(1)(k) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament of Uganda:
 
WHEREAS the Uganda Parliamentary Football Club was revived on 01 August 2007 under the patron-ship of the Speaker of Parliament, whereupon an executive committee was constituted to manage the affairs of the Parliamentary Football Club;
 
AND WHEREAS there is need to support and promote football from constituency to national level by giving support to the national team, the Uganda Cranes, and the Uganda Parliamentary Football Club;
 
NOTING THAT there will be a match on 6 September 2007 between Uganda Parliamentary Football Club and the Kenya Parliamentary Football Club;
 
APPRECIATING that we leaders can make individual contributions to Uganda Cranes versus Niger in qualifying for the Africa Nations Cup on 8 September 2007;
 
NOTING FURTHER that through football we shall forge and promote unity for the East African Federation;
 
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that each Member of Parliament contributes Shs 50,000 through the Uganda Parliamentary Football Club which in turn will be donated to Uganda Cranes.
 
I beg to move, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, you have heard the motion. Shs 50,000 is just fair. I think administratively it becomes easier to administer when the sum is uniform. Do we need a debate?
 
HON. MEMBERS: No!
 
THE SPEAKER: So, I will put the question.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
(Resolution passed.)
 
BILLS
FIRST READING
 
THE SUPPLEMENTARY APPROPRIATION BILL, 2007
 
MR JOHN ODIT: Mr Speaker, just a few minutes ago I saw the minister and he walked out probably for consultation.
 
THE SPEAKER: Maybe we should stand over it?
 

MRS KABAKUMBA MASIKO: He is around. (Laughter)
 

10.40
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FINANCE, PLANNING (Mr Omwony Ojwok): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I beg to move that this House considers and approves the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2007. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Certificate of Financial Implications? (Laughter)
 
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GENERAL DUTIES (Mr Fred Omach): Mr Speaker and honourable members, this is supplementary to the Appropriation Bill and we had already submitted the Certificate of Financial Implications.
 
THE SPEAKER: But they are two separate Bills; arent they? I think the Supplementary Appropriation Bill we are bringing is to cover the supplementary of the last financial year. Is that the case? -(Interjections)- so, it is a different Bill. Appropriation will be to cover the monies for this new financial year. That Certificate of Financial Implications is very simple because it is the amount actually in the Bill. That is the issue. So maybe you prepare it and bring it in the afternoon. (Laughter)
 
MR OMACH: Most obliged, Mr Speaker.
 
MOTION THAT PARLIAMENT DO RESOLVE ITSELF INTO A COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY FOR CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF:
 
I) THE REVISED REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2006/2007.
 
II) THE BUDGETARY PROPOSALS FOR THE ESTIMATES OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2007/08.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON GENDER,
LABOUR AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
 
THE SPEAKER: Maybe before you present it, I want to repeat what we agreed upon. We agreed to debate four reports and receive the other reports but without prejudice to future debates of these reports in detail on policy matters. I want to receive them for purposes of the Budget. So, after we have cleared the Budget process, we shall arrange to debate whichever report you want us to debate. Earlier I had pointed out the Social Services Committee report, Agriculture Committee report and then others that you may find demanding.
 
10.43
THE CHAIRPERSON, COMMITTEE ON GENDER, LABOUR AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (Mrs Teopista Ssentongo): Thank you, Mr Speaker and honourable members. I take this opportunity to present this report in accordance with the provisions of Article 90 and 155(4) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, rule 161 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Uganda, and Section 9 of the Budget Act, 2001.
 
The Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development received, examined and discussed the policy statement and budget estimates for the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for the financial year 2007/08 of Vote 018.
 
The committee further examined the ministrys mandate. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is a lead agency in the social development sector. To this end, it promotes the protection and empowerment of communities so that the poor and vulnerable, who constitute the majority of the population, are enabled to meaningfully participate in the development process -(Interruption)
 
MR ODIT: Mr Speaker, yesterday you guided the House that the remaining reports would be laid on the Table today so that we receive them and after concluding the budget, we shall be able to see how to debate them. Now the chairperson of the Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development is presenting a full report and we do not even have copies of it. I would like to seek your guidance on how to go about with this presentation or the laying of reports on the Table.
 
THE SPEAKER: Yes, this is what we agreed; you lay the report on the Table, but you can make a very brief summary and then you go on. Do not read the report itself.
 
MRS SSENTONGO: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Regarding the circulation of copies, this was done earlier and Members have already got copies with them.
 
Basing on what we have agreed, I will just go through the pages and then where I really feel there is a need to maybe talk about an item, I will be able to do that.
 
The methodology is on page 2, followed by performance of the previous budget, recurrent activities -(Interruption)
 
MR KIGYAGI: Mr Speaker, we still think that we do not need to go through the report. If she has a one-page summary, let her read it and we proceed. We do not need to go through the pages.
 
THE SPEAKER: If you do not have a summary, its okay; just table the report.
 
MRS SSENTONGO: Thank you so much, Mr Speaker. I would like on behalf of my committee to beg the House to approve the budget that is allocated to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
 
I beg that this House approves a total of Shs 22,610,438,000, of which Shs 14,564,133,000 is for recurrent and Shs 8,046,305,000 is for development (including donor funds), as the total budget required for the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for the financial year 2007/08. I beg to move and I would like to lay our report on the Table. Thank you very much.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairperson and members of the committee.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
 
10.49
THE CHAIRPERSON, COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (Mr Edward Baliddawa): Mr Speaker and honourable members, I would like to present the report of the Committee on ICT. This report is made in accordance with the provisions of Article 90 and 155 (4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and in compliance with rule 161 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament and Section 9 of the Budget Act.
 
Mr Speaker, I am aware of the time constraint and would like to lay the committees report on the Table. It discusses at length our findings, observations -(Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Can you please introduce yourself, honourable member?
 
MR BALIDDAWA: I am Baliddawa Edward, Member of Parliament Kigulu North. I am the Chairperson of the Information, Communication and Technology Committee.
 
I am aware of the time constraints and would like to lay on the Table the committees report, which discusses at length our findings, observations and recommendations. However, I would also like to highlight just a few important issues raised in this report.
 
The total budget earmarked for the sector amounts to Shs 9.17 billion, of which Shs 585 million is for wages and Shs 1.64 billion is for non-wage recurrent expenditure; Shs 4.26 billion is for development expenditure and Shs 2.67 billion is to cater for taxes. A further breakdown of the budget is in the report that I have just laid on the Table.
 
Mr Speaker, we did observe a number of issues and we made the following recommendations:
 
Fast-tracking a Legal Framework Necessary for the ICT Sector:
 
We feel that there must be an expeditious process to fast-track the legal process so that we can have an ICT regularised sector.
 
E-Governance and National Databank: 
 
Our committee recommends that the ministry should expedite the process of putting in place mechanisms to manage and operate the national databank now that the fibre optic cable has been laid.
 
We also recommend that the ministry should expedite the establishment of a telecommunications tribunal, which will be an arbiter among all the stakeholders in the sector.
 
In conclusion, our committee recommends that Parliament approves a total of Shs 9.17 billion for the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairman and the committee.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
 
10.52
THE CHAIRPERSON, COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES (Mr Emmanuel Dombo): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker and honourable members. This report is being presented in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
 
Allow me to just make one comment, which those who are familiar with the Bible know very well; when God created the natural resources, he did not go ahead to create any additional resources after the six days. People, who are multiplying everyday, are increasing the competition for the utilisation of the available natural resources. This puts a lot of requirement on the people living now to judiciously use the existing natural resources to ensure that the future generations can also benefit from the use of the same natural resources. It is for this reason, Mr Speaker, that I wish to lay the report on the Table and also to make a summary of the observations, given the importance of the areas which are covered.
 
Members should note the specific areas covered under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development: you know how important energy is to the economy.
 
Secondly, there is oil exploration and you know all that has been said, including the killing of the experts and the conflict between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Also covered is the utilisation of the environment and the forests of Uganda, including Mabira, and you know what has been happening with the Mabira crusade and what the committee has done about it.
 
Finally, we also covered water. We know very well that water is life.
 
I wish to note that in the abridged summary, the committee observed certain things under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, which we feel the relevant committees of this House should pick specific interest in. A notable point is that although Amber House is the property of government, there is a company called Amber House Ltd, which continues to collect colossal sums of money in rent from the Ministry of Energy, to the tune of about Shs 600 billion every year, and they also collect money from the other tenants. This money has never been declared, it has never been audited and nobody knows how it is being utilised. These are issues, which this Parliament should get interested in.
 
I want to say, on a positive note, that recently the Shadow Minister for Energy, other Members of this House and I represented this Parliament at the commissioning of Bujagali Dam. The Bujagali Dam is being commissioned during the tenure of this Parliament, and we shall go into the annals of history as having made a significant contribution to relieving the people of Uganda from the problem of energy.
 
Mr Speaker, the other issue that has been noted is that when distribution of energy was privatised in Uganda, there were salient issues which emerged and which necessitated our committee to interact with the ministry officials and also with UMEME as a private company. We discovered certain issues, which we would want to find out about in greater detail. For example, UMEME is required to make an investment of about US $60 million over a period of time, but it is implementing about US $11 million funded by World Bank on behalf of the Republic of Uganda. The question and the concern of the Members was: How best can the implementation be done without reflecting the resources from the World Bank to be counted as investments by UMEME? This requires a protracted forum by this Parliament and this committee. There are other issues that came up, which I will not go on to mention.
 
Allow me to state that our biggest concern when we met UMEME was that the very reasons why power distribution was privatised in the country are the same reasons UMEME is now coming out to cry about. They are talking about energy losses, for example; they were supposed to have reduced this substantially, but recently these losses have stagnated at 33 percent.
 
There is another huge problem, which we would want the government and the people of Uganda to help UMEME overcome; this is the stealing of the cables, especially the copper cables. Over a period of time UMEME has lost over 1,000 km of wire. We do not want all this to be reflected in the future bills of the people of Uganda. It is very painful.
 
Finally on energy, the public and the people do not know that out of 100 percent energy produced in Uganda, at about 70 percent of the cost, thermal energy contributes about 20 percent of the energy in Uganda. This is the use of generators. Unfortunately, thermal energy constitutes about 80 percent of the total cost of energy, and this makes it astronomical. Government should be urged to find resources to ensure that we adopt renewable energy so that progressively, the bills become less so that the goods of Uganda can become competitive in the markets that we are yearning for. If we do not do this, we shall be giving a very raw deal to our people in Uganda.
 
On the petroleum sector, we noted that Uganda is negotiating a current interest of 25 percent shares with a private company for the Uganda-Kenya Railway pipeline. Although this innovation is good, it requires prudent negotiation and proper monitoring by this Parliament to ensure that we do not get a raw deal out of that.
 
I also want to mention one other thing we noted and observed. Recently when there was lack of enough petroleum in the country, we discovered that Uganda does not have enough stock of fuel in our reserves to carry us even for over a period of two to three months. This is very risky for a country that is landlocked. Anything can happen. We are happy that Uganda has made sufficient discoveries of oil resources and we can have reserves underground, but these will only be meaningful if we are in the process of refining the same oil.
 
We did strongly recommend that negotiations or the current interests with the private developers in regard to the Kenya oil pipeline should be consciously done, as it can lead to losses in future. The government should ensure that the amount of fuel in the reserve is adequate to serve the nation during emergencies.
 
On oil exploration, Members know how important and strategic the oil exploration programme is. To us, the biggest issue was that there is growing insecurity in the oil exploration areas, especially between Uganda and Congo, which resulted into the killing of one expert and some more of our soldiers getting injured in the process.
 
We also noted that Uganda is in advanced stages of coming up with an oil policy and also of beginning a high production scheme to ensure that we refine oil in Uganda. These are strong issues, and allow us to make this strong observation as a committee: According to the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, under the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, the state shall protect important natural resources including land, water, wetlands, minerals, oil, fauna and flora on behalf of the people of Uganda.
 
The committee notes that the current oil explorations are being done by government on behalf of the people. Parliament, as the peoples representatives, should be provided with information at every stage of exploration to keep the people of Uganda informed about their resources.
 
Mr Speaker, these are the issues that we stated. We specifically want to say that security concerns at the Congo Uganda border should be addressed with the urgency they deserve. Government should take expeditious steps that clearly re-establish the colonial boundaries, and make sure the exploration in the joint management zone is done with the consent and cooperation of the neighbouring countries.
 
We also note that the committee should be briefed on the oil and gas policy and oil exploration. The oil exploration and production sharing agreements should, as soon as it is appropriate, be put before this Parliament, preferably before the early production scheme commences. We make this recommendation because if Parliament through the relevant committees is going to monitor the exercise through the implementation of the agreements, it will be futile to monitor agreements that you have no information about. It is for this reason that Parliament is insisting as such.
 
Finally, in the mineral sector we discovered that there are two huge problems. The first one is lack of adequate information to guide the prospective companies and people who would want to do that. The second one is that there are many people and companies that have acquired mineral prospecting licences when they do not have the capacity to do it, and they want to trade in the prospecting licences. This will be very unfortunate. It will be like trading in chits, which the NRM government came to fight.
 
We, therefore, recommend that the mineral prospecting licensing regime should be revised to ensure that only competent companies are licensed to do the prospecting. The committee intends to visit some areas to acquaint themselves with what is happening on the ground.
 
I, therefore, wish the recommend that the following funds be provided for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development for the financial year 2007/08:
 
Vote 17 - Energy and Minerals: recurrent expenditure is Shs 6,072,082,000 and development expenditure is Shs 522,944,644,000.
 
For the Ministry of Water and Environment, I did make brief observations as follows:
 
On the counterpart funding, which we raised yesterday, we also observed that outsourcing for products and programmes being undertaken by the ministry is being done at the expense of the people who have been hired by the ministry, and they are many.
 
We also observed that although the national water coverage is 62 percent, this statistical figure remains deceptive because some areas are far above, that is 90 percent, and some areas are as below as 30 percent. To this we recommend that those areas that are far below the national average should be given affirmative action to ensure that they also cover the national average. This should be done through provision of sufficient funds in the budget process.
 
We also noted strongly that for Northern Uganda, a lot of funds have been committed to the provision of water in the camp areas but right now people are being decongested and asked to go back to their rural areas. There must be a co-ordinated provision of water services to encourage safe livelihood in the villages where the people are. The Office of the Prime Minister should ensure that in the implementation of these programmes, there is co-ordination on the ground to avoid duplication of services given the multiplicity of NGOs in that area.
 
Finally on water, we noted that there is increasing discrepancy in the resources being provided for sanitation. Sanitation is either taken as a school activity or a responsibility of Ministry of Health or that of the Ministry of Water and Environment.
 
As a committee, we recommend that government comes up with a properly co-ordinated sanitation policy to ensure that proper sanitation is provided for the people. This will reduce on the amount of money that we spend on curative medicine.
 
We also want to recommend that in future when we implement our work, we must always focus on some Millennium Development Goals, which we have to achieve by certain a specific date. Further, we recommend that in future, committees must be in a position to report how far they are moving towards the fulfilment of those specific Millennium Development Goals.
 
On wetlands, we noted a serious problem. Allow me to report that there are about three important things that the committee observed:
 
Mr Speaker and honourable members, you will note that recently there were media reports that National Water and Sewerage Corporation was pumping greenish water for use, and also that the water had faecal material. I want to say that the committee got interested in this issue and even got some results from the lab tests that were conducted by the professional organisations before they assured the population that the water was good and meeting international standards. I want to report that as a committee, we wondered about the motive of the person who published the information that scared the people of Uganda, especially during this time when Uganda is preparing for CHOGM. We strongly recommend that an investigation be done.
 
The Ministry of Finance recently proposed (Interruptions)
 
THE SPEAKER: I think there was an apology, which was tendered by the Kampala City Council because of that statement, which originated from Kawempe.
 
MR DOMBO: Yes, Mr Speaker. As a committee we got copies of that apology but like I earlier on said, after reading it we could not establish the objective of that publication.
 
Let me also say something on the environment. Recently, the Ministry of Finance came up with a very strong proposal to ban buveera (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honestly, honourable chairperson, please wind up. You had come to the conclusion when you read the approval of Vote 019 and we expected you to be moving to other Votes and conclude.
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, allow me to say that there are two more issues; one is in respect to the forest sector. I must say that as a committee we have made strong recommendations, which we shall have an opportunity to go through when the time for debating the report in full comes.
 
Finally, I wish to move that the following funds be provided to the ministry for the financial year 2007/2008:
 
Vote 19  Ministry of Water and Environment: recurrent expenditure is Shs 5,925,871,000 and development expenditure is Shs 96,955,463,000.
 
Vote 150  National Environment Authority: recurrent expenditure is Shs 1,802,972,000 and development expenditure  is Shs 6,769,806,000.
 
Vote 157  National Forestry Authority: recurrent expenditure  of Shs 200,000,000.
 
Mr Speaker, I beg to move. Thank you very much.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairman and all the members of the committee, for this report.
 
MRS OKURUT: Mr Speaker, with all due respect to the chairman, I am seeking guidance from you on the way forward. Whereas I appreciate that water is life and that when the story appeared in the press that our water was contaminated, many people did not have breakfast, I do not think that what the chairman presented is a summary. I am begging that you give guidance on what a summary should be. I am saying this because I do not think that a summary can last the length of time that this particular one did. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: I think what you are trying to say is that the report is raising a number of issues yet as a summary it has taken a very long time to be presented. I expect other people who are going to present theirs to be very brief. I want to assure you that we shall have time to debate these reports extensively. Thank you.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TOURISM,
TRADE AND INDUSTRY
 

11.13

THE CHAIRPERSON, COMMITTEE ON TOURISM, TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Mr Pereza Ahabwe): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. As earlier mentioned, the Constitution and our Rules of Procedure mandate this committee to make this kind of presentation.
 
The committee made a few observations. One of them is that although tourism continues to be the highest foreign exchange earner for Uganda, government budgetary allocations are still very little.
 
The other observation is that whereas this sector belongs to some international organisations, our contribution as a government to these organisations has been shortcoming. As we talk now, government owes US $380,000 to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); it owes US $260,000 to the World Tourism Organisation and a number of others.
 
I must add that sometime back we were informed that actually Uganda has been suspended from the World Tourism Organisation because of reneging on their contributions.
 
Mr Speaker, the other serious observation we made regards the activities of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards. The Uganda National Bureau of Standards is mandated to check standards of all goods and services offered in the country especially for those goods that are imported from foreign countries. The National Bureau of Standards is supposed to check 52 border points but because of lack financial resources, it only covers 14. Our observation is that the counterfeit issue that we always hear of is a result of that shortcoming.
 
Let me also say one or two things in regard to the department of industry. You are aware we received a petition from the manufacturers of buveera. The petition came to your office although it also came to us. Our genuine observation is that it is not true that manufacturers are objecting to the banning of the buveera of 30 microns; they are only complaining about the short time that was given to them to wind up business. So they are praying that government reconsiders this period. In fact they argued that if they were given six months to reorient their businesses and another about three months to clear their stock, they would be in line with that government proposal.
 
I have one general observation regarding the sector of tourism -(Interruption)
 
MR KIGYAGI: Mr Speaker, before he lays the report on the Table, I beg your guidance on one thing: I am not debating the report but I have noticed that recommendation No.5 says that the banning of the small gauge (below 30 microns) buveera should be temporarily lifted to give time to the users like the bakeries, et cetera to adjust their materials. My observation is that if this recommendation is passed, it will be against the spirit of the East African Community and this House. I am saying this because of the resolution that was tabled here by hon. Banyenzaki.
 
The government has come out to say that in liaison with the whole of East Africa, buveera of gauge 30 microns should be banned. I know that manufacturers were given the months of July, August and now they have up to the end of September to reorient their businesses. Surely, if this recommendation is adopted will it not be against this position, given the fact that government is already collecting taxes from plastic materials? Will it not reverse the deal and be injurious to the whole thing? It is in that spirit that I propose that recommendation No.5 be (Interjection)
 
THE SPEAKER: We are not passing anything now. As I said, we are going to debate these reports in future. When you make that statement, however, you should know what is happening in other partner states; what is the status in the other partner states? Anyway, we are not debating this report, we are only receiving it.
 
MR KIGYAGI: Are we not adopting it?
 
THE SPEAKER: I said we are only receiving it.
 
MR KIGYAGI: Okay, I thank you for that guidance.
 
MR AHABWE: Mr Speaker, when you said that you had asked the Chairman of the Budget Committee to constitute an ad hoc committee to look into this matter, I realised that we are moving at the same pace. I am saying this because the chairman of the Budget Committee had asked the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Finance to constitute a committee and discuss this matter at length. I want to report that we actually did that, and in our resolution we agreed to make a follow-up on that issue within the region.
 
In that regard, I want to report that according to the information we have, I can say without any reservations that hon. Kigyagi is not being very honest. As a committee we have information that actually in Kenya the ban has been temporarily lifted and they are to review it in January next year. Therefore, this kind of review by Uganda to take into consideration the interests of our industrialists and traders is not contrary to the East African spirit as he is saying.
 
It is not true that the principle of banning is unacceptable; the issue is, why not give us enough time to wind up, to relocate and to reorient our industrialisation and factories elsewhere. That is the argument. The argument is not against a total ban. The issue is, give us enough time so that we can wind up business.
 
Mr Speaker, it is known that the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry is not taken seriously by government, and the evidence to this effect is the dismemberments to this sector.
 
We observe that although the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology is supposed to belong to this sector, it is currently under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. We further observed that Uganda Investment Authority is also wrongly placed under the Ministry of Finance yet it should be under this sector. Because of this the ministry is constrained in terms of co-ordination and realising its mandate. Accordingly, we observed that the AGOA office, which is supposed to handle exports in relation to the AGOA programme in America, is not under this sector but under the Office of the President.
 
Given this situation, our observation is that it looks like government does not have confidence in its own institutions. Our recommendation in respect of this is that there must be re-organisation in these sectors so that there is a one-stop centre to handle matters of trade and industry.
 
Lastly, we have a general observation that without a well functioning Ministry of Agriculture and without Ministry of Finance taking adequate seriousness in availing finances to these sectors, the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry will never function though it is one of the most necessary and productive ministries that we have.
 
Therefore, this committee recommends that something similar to the Justice, Law and Order arrangement is established to correct the confusion between Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry, so that these ministries can start to move together and we can ably realise the potential that is obvious in this sector.
 
The committee recommends that this Parliament passes Vote 015 as follows: recurrent expenditure, Shs 13,249,323,000; development expenditure, Shs 27,616,145,000; and the total, Shs 40,865,468,000. Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairperson and members of the committee for the report.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
 
11.24
THE CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE (Mr Nathan Byanyima): Thank you, Mr Speaker and honourable members. Following all the normal parliamentary procedures and our Rules of Procedure, I beg to brief you on the report of the Committee on Physical Infrastructure on the estimates of the financial year 2007/2008. The report is supposed to be circulated (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Do you have copies?
 
MR BYANYIMA: The copies are available.
 
The sector covers two ministries, that is, the Ministry of Works and Transport and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. When the issue of roads comes into this House, I know everybody gets jittery about their performance. I will begin by saying that the committee has concerns and then will share achievements that they have noted.
 
Generally speaking, while the Ministry of Works and Transport has had some problems especially as regards supervising, we feel that the government has not realised that of all public utilities like roads, education and health, it is only the road sector that does not have any private sector connected to it. As a result, the money apportioned to road maintenance has been very little.
 
It was, therefore, to the amazement of this House that the Shs 45 billion, which was meant for road maintenance all over the country in your constituencies, has been reallocated for CHOGM in Kampala. The committee is of the view that come rain or shine, the moment that money continues to go for CHOGM, the situation will be aggravated especially in the Eastern region where we have had heavy rains and also in the Northern region. The committee is gravely concerned that the Minister of Finance did not listen to this problem. How many of you Members of Parliament have gone to Mulago for treatment? You always go to private clinics and hospitals. How many of you take your children to government schools? Everyday you use these roads and that is why the Ministry of Works and Transport should be given this money, after that it will be our responsibility to monitor performance, rather than treating it like any other service ministry.
 
The committee was also concerned about the delays of some projects especially the Soroti-Dokolo-Lira Road, the Jinja-Bugiri Road, the Kampala Northern By-pass and many others.
 
At the same time, the committee was fairly happy that the ministry was able to concentrate on development projects especially in Karuma, Olwiyo, Pakwach, Nebbi to Arua, which was a very good sign of development. However, it was noted that the road from Moyo to Sudan should be given priority so that we can provide an outlet to Sudan and business can boom. All this can only be done if the Government of Uganda makes roads a priority or an engine of economic development.
 
Inadequate counterpart funding on the part of government has cost the country enormous interest; most of the donor money is lying idle because of lack of counterpart funding. As we talk now the Kisoro-Bunagana Road has not taken off because Ministry of Finance is not releasing the money for compensation. Yesterday the Minister of Finance said that the donors would be giving us a complete package soon to cater for compensation. However, it should be noted that donors are in for development projects like starting of new roads; road maintenance is entirely our job.
 
The Ministry of Works is undergoing restructuring. They are divesting their main duties and entrusting all the work with Uganda National Road Authority, which this Parliament enacted. This body is supposed to take on professional and efficient people to run it professionally, so that politicians or big hands do not influence the flow of services. This body is supposed to take off very soon; actually, by October we should have an executive director of Uganda National Road Authority.
 
This Parliament is earnestly waiting for the Road Fund. You all know that the Ministry of Finance abolished license fees and levied fees on fuel instead, so people who use roads more often pay more money. Unfortunately, while the Minister of Finance had to take all the principles of the Bill to Cabinet, he is almost withdrawing the Bill because he wants the Road Fund to be managed by the Ministry of Finance. However, we feel that this Bill should be brought here and laid on Table so that it goes to the Committee of Finance so that we can have the Road Fund (Interruption)
 
MR OMACH: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. What the chairman has stated is true. The Bill will be brought here by the responsible ministry. I thank you.
 
MR BYANYIMA: Mr Speaker, our concern has been that the roads are in a bad state so we should have a special fund ring-fenced specifically for road maintenance because donors are willing to give us development money. We are thinking of Atiak, Moyo, Bundibugyo, Mbale, to Moroto. Since we put up this Road Fund, members of the society have been going to sensitisation workshops to learn about the use of the Road Fund. We further request that we visit some other countries like Tanzania and Namibia where a road fund has been operating.
 
Surprisingly, however, instead of bringing the Bill here, there is a small component in the Finance Bill. The committee is wondering why we dont withdraw it and handle it in the relevant Committee of Finance. I would want the Minister, before he leaves here, to tell us when the Bill is coming because we want Ministry of Finance to get their hands off the Road Fund. Let them appoint a professional body to handle it so that they can feed the Uganda National Road Authority, and so that the people who are paying levies on fuel get the benefit of having good roads. Mr Speaker, enough is enough. When you look at the bridges in Northern and Eastern Uganda - look at todays paper, for example, some parts of Moroto cannot be reached because the bridges have collapsed. This is because there is no money for these bridges.
 
I request that the Minister of Works and Transport and the Minister of Finance take us through a days session so that we can be conversant with what is happening in the country concerning roads. There is no point in apportioning blame, but we are in bad shape. All of us use these roads and our constituencies are in a bad shape especially with these rains. Without the Ministry of Finance coming together with the Ministry of Works, we will not move anywhere.
 
Thirdly, Mr Speaker, the committee has been coming here every year talking about having a second bridge in Jinja because the one we have, which was put up I think in 1954, has already developed cracks. The Minister talks about designs and architectural plans but there is no money to back it up. Recently you all saw what happened in America and in Congo. Many people lost their lives. I think that a stitch in time saves nine. We better think seriously about having a second bridge at the earliest opportunity.
 
We talk of road safety measures; I am happy that you have been at the forefront in realising that while we used to cry about malaria killing people, now it is vehicles killing them. We have a bad history and it is because of our political hands. Whenever a measure is put in place, our local people run to the President, the Vice-President and the ministers and they say hold on. If we enforced speed governors for example and the road safety rules and regulations that we have, we would minimise the accidents in this country. However, the ministry -(Interruption)
 
MR DOMBO: Sorry for the interruption, but I specifically wanted to get clarification because we seem to be talking about two important things but we are not putting our resources together. Right now government has commissioned the construction of a second dam at Bujagali and that dam is going to be built across the River Nile. Is it too late to modify the structures and designs so that a second dam could carry the alternative bridge and we kill two birds with one stone? Has the Minister of Works considered seeking that clarification to see whether it is possible so that we harness our resources together?
 
MR BYANYIMA: I think that will be the work of the Minister of Works and the Minister of Energy; you all know the view of the committee about the contractor of the Bujagali Dam. The same case came up with the Northern By-pass. Kampala City Council wanted to make a channel before the by-pass but when the two departments would have merged and constructed one big channel that would avoid floods in Kawempe, they would not co-operate. As we construct the Kampala Northern By-pass, another World Bank project is coming in to tamper with the work that is being done. Therefore, hon. Dombo, I am happy with that idea and I hope that your ministry and the sector that we supervise will come together.
 
I was talking about road safety. There is very bad history in Rwanda where they used to have so many people dying after accidents but today the moment you drive into Rwanda, automatically your speed changes to 60 KPH and that is normal. As a result, accidents have more or less been zeroed to four people dying in a month and yet here we have six people dying everyday after boda boda accidents and many other motor vehicle accidents. I think the onus is on this Parliament.
 
Mr Speaker, you requested our committee to come out with a report on road safety. Concurrently with the budget, we have been interviewing a number of people and we shall come with the report. We want your support to ensure that Members of Parliament are at the forefront of ensuring that we have road safety measures on our roads. As we requested, the minister should take this Parliament through an explanation on the roads because it is too much and we do not have time.
 
I want to talk briefly about the East African Civil Aviation Academy, which is a centre of excellence agreed upon by the three heads of state in Arusha. However as we talk now, Soroti Flying School is not worth the name that it has. There are only a few students and the aircrafts are as old as Byanyima, who is about 50 years. Why dont we take up Soroti Flying School as our baby because most of the pilots that we have in Africa have come from that school? Instead, we have ignored it. The committee is of the view that the government gives attention to Soroti Flying School.
 
Concerning the Ministry of Lands, this ministry does not get any donor support yet we all know that land is real property. Lands has suffered so much to the extent that restructuring it and adding Housing and Urban Development means the Minister has no office, no vehicle and no budget. Actually, he has been using money from other departments. It has taken so long for the Ministry of Public Service to decide because the Minister came in July 2006. He has no budget yet this is an important department in the ministry.
 
Concerning the issue of the building department which used to have minimal revenue, having got communication from Ministry of Works and Housing, it was brought under Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. However, I am sorry to say that this department has again remained under the Ministry of Works. The committee is of the view that at the earliest opportunity, hon. Prime Minister, a decision must be taken. We voted for money for the building department here under Ministry of Lands but as soon as we had finished appropriating the money, it went to Ministry of Works. Nobody should be fighting because all ministers have schedules of work. We feel that -(Interruption)
 
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR WORKS (Mr John Byabagambi): Mr Speaker, the matter the chairman is referring to was resolved last week in Cabinet.
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, a couple of days ago I rose on the Floor of this House on this issue and from the presentation of the Chairperson of the Committee on Physical Infrastructure, it is very conspicuous that the matter of land is not being given the due attention that it requires. Right now there are so many reforms in the ministry about policy and administration. Land is a natural resource but because of the reorganisation of ministries, lands and housing was referred to the Ministry of Works and is under the Physical Infrastructure Committee. I want to propose that in future we have a specific committee dealing with matters of land so that we can streamline policy, law and issues governing land and so that we stop cushioning it under physical infrastructure. It has been conspicuous from the presentation that we need to do more in order to give matters of land the due attention that it requires. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
MR BYANYIMA: Mr Speaker and honourable members, our concern is that if the issue of the building department has been resolved, then we need to know where it is going so that we can all be comfortable that this department is again under Ministry of Works or it has gone to its rightful home in the Ministry of Lands.
 
MR BYABAGAMBI: Mr Speaker, as I had informed the House earlier on, this issue was resolved and the building department has been merged together with the department of quality of materials to form the department of quality control of materials. So, in the Ministry of Works we are supposed to be setting the specifications of construction of public buildings and public works. The housing section, which deals with building and construction and human resettlement, is with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
 
MR BYANYIMA: Mr Speaker and honourable members, I think that you can all read between the lines. How do you separate the building department from the housing department? This is not really a big case but we felt that you cannot have a Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and then you remain with a small component somewhere else. With land wrangles all over the country and with people killing each other, such as the case of the Balaalo and many others, it is because the government has not given land a priority. Each of us here has a plot of land or a house and according to the law, land is real property. However, yesterday the minister said that it takes one year for one to get a land title. The Ministry of Lands is really in confusion because there is no money available to them to do neat work.
 
The committee had proposed that most of the land titles and registries should remain within the ministries to avoid our people walking long distances coming to Kampala and staying for so long to get titles. However, all this requires money and the ministry does not have enough money.
 
Mr Speaker, with the Land Act, we have cases of people who own land especially in Kibaale, Kasese, Nakasongola, Ankole and many other parts of the country. We were supposed to have a Land Fund so that we compensate the owners of the mailo land. They lost interest but the people who are already staying on their land can get registered interests. The Land Commission, which has its own vote, has only recurrent expenditure. They have no money to pay those people. If you go to the Ministry of Lands or to the Land Commission, you will find people from Kibaale lining up for their money. It has taken so long! It is only the few people who are well connected that get compensated.
 
The committee is of the view that money should be got so that the ranchers and the people of Kibaale and many other places are paid up, so that we can have some sanity in relation to land wrangles.
 
Mr Speaker, we feel that the urban development department should be given a boost so that the planning department can be given a task to plan our towns, unlike what we have in Kampala.
 
Those are the few statements that I wanted to give on both ministries. I feel that at a later stage we shall have a better discussion on the issue.
 
I beg to move that the following monies be passed for the following ministries:
 
The Ministry of Lands and Urban Development: recurrent expenditure is Shs 12,940,000,000 and development expenditure is Shs 6,065,000,000.
 
The Uganda Land Commission (Interruption)
 
MR AMURIAT: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I think it is necessary for the figures to be read correctly. The chairperson of the committee misread the total and referred to it as recurrent expenditure. It was a total and not the recurrent expenditure.
 
MR BYANYIMA: I am sorry, Mr Speaker and honourable colleagues. Patrick is the shadow minister and a committee member; he knows most of these figures. The recurrent expenditure for the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is Shs 6,290,000,000 and the development expenditure is Shs 6,650,000,000.
 
The Uganda Land Commission - Vote 156: recurrent expenditure is Shs 270,000,000 and non-wage expenditure is Shs 910,000,000.
 
The Ministry of Works and Transport - Vote 16: recurrent expenditure is Shs 152,879,000,000 and development expenditure is Shs 449,252,500,000.
 
Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you, chairperson and the members of the committee, for the report.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 
11.50
THE VICE-CHAIRPERSON, COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Mr Wamakuyu Mudimi): Mr Speaker, I beg to lay the report of the Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development on the Table, for the following votes:
 
Vote 008 - Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Vote 018 - National Planning Authority; Vote 131 - Office of the Auditor-General; Vote 141 - Uganda Revenue Authority; Vote 13 - Uganda Bureau of Statistics -(Interruption)  
 
MR MUTULUUZA: Mr Speaker, yesterday I was not here in the morning but I was here in the evening. This morning I did not see the report from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. I am wondering whether it is procedurally right for him to continue without us having that report.
 
MR KIGYAGI: The report of Finance, Planning and Economic Development was given to us a week ago and put in our pigeonholes.
 
MR WAMAKUYU: Thank you, honourable member. The copies were submitted. Maybe the honourable member has not been around and that is why he has not accessed his copy.
 
Lastly, we have Vote 153 - Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).
 
Mr Speaker, before I lay the report on the Table, I want to go through some observations and recommendations.
 
Unutilised balances at the end of the financial year:
 
The committee observed that there are some balances, which are returned to the Consolidated Account, but these monies are not reflected as opening balances. Therefore, the committee recommends that the Ministry of Finance should utilise those funds and show us the opening balances for the next financial year.
 
Debt Sustainability
 
Ugandas debt stands at US $1.1 billion, that is, around Shs 1.94 trillion, as at 31 March 2007, which is about 40 percent of the budgeted resource envelope for the financial year 2007/2008. This debt includes arrears, principal and interest, which amounts to US $0.234 billion.
 
Secondly, there are delays in utilisation of approved loans that government secures to implement various programmes -(Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, we had agreed on just a brief summary. Just lay the report on the Table and they debate it, or highlight a few things.
 
MR WAMAKUYU: I will be brief, Mr Speaker. The committee recommended that the debt management strategy should be reviewed and adhered to by the Ministry of Finance. All necessary arrangements and systems for projects programme implementation should be in place before securing loans to avoid carrying penalties for late utilisation.
 
Projects
 
The committee established that the Ministry of Finance and other spending agencies have continued to access foreign funds for a number of projects, which are neither declared nor integrated in the MTEF ceilings. There are many programmes, which ministries and departments handle, that are not part of the MTEF. This violates the principle of budgeting and may cause macro-economic instability.
 
Recommendations
 
All projects and loans secured by spending agents should be declared and be subjected to the budgeting process.
 
Any accounting officer who fails to declare donor funding and projects under their jurisdiction should be personally held accountable.
 
Micro-finance
 
Observations
 
Micro-finance interventions are not regulated in the country and government has failed to come up with a Bill to regulate Tier IV. There is no clear policy for co-ordinating all stakeholders in delivering macro-finance services in the country.
 
Whereas the agricultural sector employs the majority of the people in the country, there is no clear focus and strategy for providing this sector with affordable micro-finance services.
 
The government has now created a department of micro finance reflected in the ministerial policy statement of Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development yet there is no law to empower this department to execute its mandate.
 
Recommendations
 
The government should urgently bring the Bill for regulating Tier IV financial institutions to Parliament -(Interjection) 
 
THE SPEAKER: Mr Chairman, we can inform you that this was the position of the Seventh Parliament, that the ministry brings up this law but it is now almost four years since we did that and this is on record.
 
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GENERAL DUTIES (Mr Fred Omach): Mr Speaker, we took a submission here when we read the budget that the Tier IV regulation -(Interruption) 
 
THE SPEAKER: And for your information, hon. Prof. Kamuntu was the chairman of the committee.
 
MR OKUPA: Mr Speaker, hon. Omach was the Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee at the time. (Laughter)
 
MR OMACH: Mr Speaker, in the Budget Speech we did make it clear that Tier IV regulations will be tabled through the Cabinet and to Parliament in September 2007, and it shall be done.
 
MR NSUBUGA: Mr Speaker, I want to correct the information that the minister has just given us. If you recall, during the debate on the budget statement for the financial year ending 2006/2007, the minister made categorical statements that Tier IV regulations were supposed to be presented to this House within nine months. The honourable minister, who is actually present, was heading that sectoral committee, which was concerned with the drafting. That was actually a stand (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Well, he has said September and we are in September. So it means that within less than 30 days, this will be realised.
 
MR WAMAKUYU: Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART): Parliament extended the legal life of NPART up to October this year and it is supposed to wind up its activities by then.
 
Recommendation
 
The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development should present the Bill to repeal the NPART Act and provide a transfer of assets and liabilities.
 
Bank of Uganda
 
Observations
 
Whereas Article 155 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda mandates Parliament to scrutinise policy statements and budgets for all government institutions, Bank of Uganda has not complied with this constitutional requirement. Bank of Uganda has consistently refused to comply with PPDA laws and regulations.
 
Recommendations:
Bank of Uganda must submit their annual recurrent expenditure budget for scrutiny and appropriation by Parliament -(Interjection)
 
THE SPEAKER: Is that the law?
 
MR WAMAKUYU: Mr Speaker, Bank of Uganda is one of the semi-autonomous bodies under the Ministry of Finance so it must submit.
 
THE SPEAKER: Are you saying that Bank of Uganda should submit its budget to Parliament?
 
MR WAMAKUYU: Mr Speaker, we assume so because Bank of Uganda is utilising funds from the Consolidated Account.
 
THE SPEAKER: You may have to examine that.
 
MR WAMAKUYU: Mr Speaker, we shall examine that. Bank of Uganda must comply with the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets regulations.
 
In conclusion, I beg the House to approve a recurrent budget of Shs 37,633,000,000 and a development budget of Shs 295,160,000,000 for the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development - Vote 008. The total is Shs 322,793,000,000.
 
Vote 108 - National Planning Authority
 
Observations
 
The National Planning Authority (NPA) did not include donor funding of Shs 2,370,520,000 for the Uganda Capacity Building Programme as part of the MTEF ceiling. This violates budgeting principles.
 
The existence of a full time board of directors of NPA violates the principles of corporate governance. This breeds conflict in authority and compromises accountability by way of failing to establish a responsibility centre.
 
NPA continues to operate like a unit under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. This significantly affects the performance of the authority.
 
The staffing level of NPA is at 50 percent so we recommended that efforts should be made to raise the level of political supervision by placing NPA under the office of the Vice-President or Prime Ministers office.
 
The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development should come up with an amendment to the National Planning Authority Act 2002 to address, among others, the anomaly of a full time board of directors.
 
NPA must declare all resources, including the donor component, to the MTEF.
 
In conclusion, the committee recommends the approval of the following funds for Vote 108, NPA, for financial year 2007/2008: recurrent expenditure, Shs 2,189,315,000; development expenditure is Shs 331,000,500; and the total is Shs 2,720, 315,000.
 
Vote 131 - Office of the Auditor-General
 
Observations
 
Although the office of the Auditor-General has been operating as a Vote under the Ministry of Finance, they have not been submitting their policy statement. This is the first time they are submitting it.
 
It was established that the Office of the Auditor-General conducted 704 out of 1,314 audits, representing 53 percent of the achievement. This performance is below the acceptable standards of the office of the Auditor-General. Whereas the office of the Auditor-General should spearhead and ensure compliance with the budgeting and public finance and accountability requirements, it was found lacking in aspects of evidence. They were not declaring donor components in the MTEF ceiling -(Interruption) 
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, as you know, according to the Constitution, the Auditor-General is an officer who reports to Parliament. Now the honourable member has made a very strong observation that the performance of the office of the Auditor-General is below expectation. I want to find out from the honourable member, so that it is put on record, what the cause of this is. Is it lack of capacity or is it under-facilitation? Could you just briefly put it on record so that if the problem is not from the Auditor-Generals office, then Parliament could find out how best to support the institution to enable it be supported better?
 
MR WAMAKUYU: Thank you, honourable member. When we met officials from the office of the Auditor-General regarding its performance, they clearly told us that they do not have the capacity to manage the work. Most of them are doing professional courses, which the government is sponsoring, after which they go and look for greener pastures. So they do not have the capacity. It was observed that the office of the Auditor-General earmarked Shs 3,704,000,630 for the implementation of FINMAP and Shs 4.5 billion for the institutional support project for good governance during the financial year 2007/2008. These funds were not included in the MTEF.
 
Recommendations
 
The Auditor-General should declare all sources of funds in the financial year and they should be included in the MTEF ceiling. The FINMAP component of Shs 1.862 billion under Vote 008, Ministry of Finance, should be transferred to the Auditor-Generals office.
 
The Auditor-Generals office should desist from all forms of indisciplined practices of not declaring public funds, especially donor funding. All these funds should be declared and incorporated in the MTEF ceiling.
 
In conclusion, the committee recommends that the following resources be approved by this House for Vote 131, office of the Auditor-General, for financial year 2007/2008: recurrent expenditure, Shs 6.38 billion and development expenditure is Shs 1.35 billion. The total is Shs 7.3 billion.
 
Vote 141  URA
 
Observations:
 
Whereas URA has improved revenue collection with respect to the GDP ratio, which stands at 13.4 percent, it is still below that of the East African Community partner states. Kenya is about 20 percent, Tanzania is about 14 percent and the average of sub-Sahara is 18 percent.
 
It was established that a number of companies have continued to file losses when they are actually making returns and claim input tax on VAT, which translates into revenue loss to government.
 
In a bid to recover tax arrears from local government, URA has been freezing accounts for many districts. This intervention led to undesirable consequences such as non-payment of employee salaries and stifling of service delivery.
 
Counterfeit products have continued to flood the market stripping off genuine products. This has an effect on revenue collection and the local industry.
 
Recommendations
 
URA should devise a more appropriate mechanism of recovering taxes from local governments without crippling the activities of the local governments by freezing their accounts.
 
The accounting officers of the defaulting local governments should be personally held accountable for non-remittance of taxes such as PAYE and withholding taxes. These are taxes, which they deduct at source but when local government writes cheques to URA, they utilise the money for other things yet employees have not been paid.
 
URA should strengthen the capacity to check the inflow of counterfeit products.
 
URA should intensify audits in corporation taxes.
 
In conclusion, the committee recommends that the following resources be allocated for vote 141, Uganda Revenue Authority, for financial year 2007/2008: recurrent expenditure is Shs 77,553,923,120, development expenditure is Shs 10,279,834,142, and the total is Shs 87.833 billion.
 
Vote 143 - Uganda Bureau of Statistics
 
Observations
 
Uganda Bureau of Statistics launched the Plan for National Statistical Development (PNSD) and they were able to get some basket funding from DFID and other donors. There is an allocation of Shs 3.5billion from Ministry of Finance for the Community Information System (CIS) but there is no allocation for PNSD for this financial year yet both programmes are important.
 
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics has been operating under a shortfall. It is running 28 core programmes but the money they get from the Ministry of Finance is not enough for them to take on all these programmes and yet these are on a monthly basis. So, they have not been operating because they do not have funds.
 
It was also established that the bureau has been operating without a fully constituted board of directors. The directors term ended some four years ago, so there are four vacancies which are not filled. This implies that the bureau lacks sufficient strategic direction.
 
Recommendations
 
The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development should appoint board members to fill the vacant positions on the board of directors of the bureau.
 
The Ministry of Finance should make an intra-budget allocation of Shs 1.5 billion from the budget line of Community Information System to PNSD.
 
In conclusion, the committee therefore recommends that a total of Shs 19.08 billion be approved for Uganda Bureau of Statistics for 2007/2008 as follows: recurrent expenditure of Shs 5.88 billion; and development expenditure is Shs 13.2 billion.
 
Vote 153  PPDA
 
Observations
 
It was established that late releases of funds by the Ministry of Finance have continued to compel the spending agents to request for waivers in order to shorten the process so that they commit the funds.
 
Honourable members, you realise that the Ministry of Finance at times can release money in the last quarter on 28th when the financial year is ending on 30th; it has been happening! So some of these agencies go and look for waivers and you know waivers are shortcuts for the procurement. I do not want to elaborate - you know shortcuts for procurements.
 
There is continued political interference in the procurement and disposal process particularly in the KCC works.
 
Zero procurement audits at the investigation.
 
PPDA has been able to identify a number of central government -(Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: But your summary has been long, Mr Chairman.
 
MR WAMAKUYU: There are many agencies, which when they carry out the procurement audits they discover that they have violated most of the regulations but PDDA does not have the capacity to punish them.
 
Recommendations
 
The PPDA Act, 2003 should be amended in a bid to strengthen and empower the authority to penalise public agencies that flout the procurement laws and regulations, among others. Of course we are asking for Bank of Uganda also to comply, and the Ministry of Finance should ensure they release funds in time especially for the procurement process to take its normal course and not the shortcuts.
 
In conclusion, the committee recommends that the following resources be approved for Vote 153 for financial year 2007/2008: recurrent expenditure is Shs 7.229 billion, development expenditure is Shs 567 million, and the total is Shs 7.796 billion.
 
Mr Speaker and Members, I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairperson and members of the committee, for the report.
 
MR MUTULUUZA: Mr Speaker, I beg your indulgence. Members of Parliament do not have the report, which has just been presented. Although they are saying that they put the reports in the pigeonholes, I have not seen mine and nobody has removed it from my pigeonhole. As you can see, nobody has a copy except the former chairperson of the committee. We are going to pass a lot of money; I beg that we get this report.
 
THE SPEAKER: The problem - and I have received some communication here - is appreciating what they call scrutinising the Budget. Scrutinising the Budget starts in April when we have a communication from the President about the Budget. Various committees in charge of sectors call the people in the ministries, sit with them and get into details about the finance requirements of their ministries. Eventually this is sent to the President and the Budget is read. When the Budget is read, various committees in charge of sectors deal with their sectors again. They meet the ministers concerned and the technocrats and get into the details about the Budget in respect of these sectors. This is another form of scrutiny.
 
More scrutiny is done in the committees rather than in the plenary. In the plenary we receive recommendations from the committees after they have gone into detail, sat with different people and received presentations from stakeholders who cannot come here. These committees then report not only on the finance aspect but on policies.
 
What has happened this time is that we have decided to deal with the financial aspects and discuss the policies later. We shall then constitute what they call a Committee of Supply. When we go into the Committee of Supply, each figure is read and if you have any objection you raise it. You can even move a motion to deduct Shs 10 as long as you justify the deduction. That is scrutinising the Vote, and that is going to come. So, it is true we are going to deal with the Budget, but we shall discuss the policy matters later.
 
The policy in a number of parliaments is that they do not discuss each Vote; they choose key Votes and pass others. Here we decided to use the committee system to get deeper in matters that we discuss here. It is not every parliament that has a committee system, but for us we have a committee system. So I am aware that we are going to deal with this and this is what we are doing. You prepare yourselves. If there is any Vote you want to stand against, when we come to the Committee of Supply you will be given every opportunity to justify your case.
 
MR OKUPA: The Members concern is the lack of the report. It is not only limited to him but also to us. As you have wisely ruled that we are going to debate this after we have passed it, we need to have that report at the time when we are discussing it other than just having a policy statement from Finance.
 
THE SPEAKER: We have the report. This is for today; maybe tomorrow you will have your copy of the report.
 
MR OKUPA: That is better, Mr Speaker, if we get that assurance that we shall get the copies later other than what the former chairman was saying.
 
THE SPEAKER: I imagine you have the book from the Ministry of Finance, which gives you details of the estimates but copies should be given to Members.
 
MR OKUPA: I agree with you because the report summarises the bigger policy statement.
 
THE SPEAKER: Yes, we should appreciate the committee scrutinising the Budget. It is not a matter of discussing it generally. The committees do the scrutinising more efficiently. You have no ability, here in the plenary, to scrutinise each and every Vote. Our Rules of Procedure allow you to go to any committee of Parliament, should you be interested in the affairs of the ministry, and also participate in the deliberations. People should not be misinformed that we are going to pass the Budget without scrutinising it.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS
 
12.23
MR STEPHEN TASHOBYA (NRM, Kajara County, Ntungamo): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I am the Vice-Chairman of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee. I am standing in for my chairman and learned friend, hon. Peter Nyombi, who is not here today. I would like to say that some copies have been sent to you and the Clerk, and I want to re-echo and assure Members that the copies are being worked on and they will get them in the course of the day.
 
The scope of our committee was in respect of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the Judicial Service Commission, the Judiciary, Law Development Centre, Uganda Law Reform, Uganda Human Rights Commission, the Electoral Commission, Inspectorate of Government and the Parliamentary Commission.
 
I will try as much as I possibly can to summarise the recommendations of the committee in respect of each of the departments and then at the end, I will present the budget for approval by this Parliament.
 
In respect of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the following observations were made:
 
That constitutional petition No. 21 set aside some of the provisions of the Local Council Act. This has impacted on the elections of local councils I, II, and IV, and it was noted that the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2007, which is to address the matter, is now before this Parliament. The committee recommended that Parliament should expedite the passing of these laws and amendments to enable election of these administrative councils.
 
It was also noted that by law, there is need for state funding of political parties to strengthen them. The minister informed the committee that the Political Parties and Organisations (Amendment) Bill has been forwarded for gazetting and will soon be brought to Parliament for first reading. The committee recommended that given the urgency of this matter, the Bill should be expeditiously introduced to this Parliament.
 
The committee has several times recommended for strengthening of the independence of the judiciary particularly with regard to financial autonomy. Hon. Ndeezi informed the committee that he had a draft of the Private Members Bill on the matter. The minister said that the ministry is also working on a Bill of its own. The minister assured the committee that the process would be concluded before the end of this financial year. The committee recommended that the minister expedites the process and introduces the Bill within this financial year.
 
Mr Speaker, the committee noted that there are 28 chief magisterial areas in the whole country and this affects the performance of magistrates who serve wide areas. It was recommended that magisterial areas be increased in order to enable citizens to access justice.
 
The committee observed that there has been a long delay in the introduction of the Domestic Relations Bill. The committee recommended that the Minister of Justice should explain to Parliament the status of this Bill.
 
It was noted that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions is faced with an average turn over of 60 state attorneys per year. The committee recommended for strengthening of the staff of the DPP through improved remuneration and facilitation other than seeking private lawyers.
 
In respect of the Judicial Service Commission, it was noted that there is a backlog of 86,000 cases as at 30 June 2007. It was noted that even if there was full establishment of judicial officers, these number of cases would take about 15 years to be completed. The committee recommended that the Judicial Service Commission be allowed to find additional staff on temporary terms to help handle the backlog.
 
It was noted that the failure to fill existing posts in the judiciary has contributed to the backlog. For example, the Supreme Court has five out of seven judges. The Judicial Service Commission has made proposals on the appointment of judges and awaits a response from the appointing authority. The committee recommended that as the appointment of judges is being handled, the attendant facilities should be put in place.
 
In accordance with Article 150(2)(ii) of the Constitution, it was recommended that Parliament makes a law to prescribe the period within which various activities should be undertaken. These include: declaring of posts, the Judicial Service Commission recommending appointments, the appointing authority making the appointments and Parliament approving such appointments. This would minimise delays in the appointment of judges.
 
In respect of the Law Reform Commission, the committee observed that the commission has operated without commissioners for most of the 2006/07 financial year. This greatly affected its activities. The commissioners are appointed by the President on the advice of the Attorney-General. The committee recommended that relevant authorities expedite these appointments.
 
Electoral Commission:
 
Mr Speaker, it was observed that the Ministry of Finance should revise the budget to fully provide for domestic arrears. However, this was reduced from the provision for the non-wage item. This implies that some of the priority activities under the non-wage item, like conducting by-elections and setting of legal costs, will not be undertaken.
 
The committee recommended that the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development provide for the un-funded priorities to enable the commission expedite its mandate.
 
The Human Rights Commission:
 
It was noted that government should increase the commissions wage budget to avoid reallocations from the non-wage budget. The reallocations undermine the non-wage bill activities. The committee recommended additional provision of funding under the non-wage bill release in order to procure vehicles and other capital goods that are urgently required.
 
On the Judiciary, Mr Speaker, the committee noted that land tribunals have not been effective because they have not been properly facilitated and funded. There are only 18 land tribunals and yet every district is supposed to have a land tribunal. It was noted by the committee that the land tribunals are a creation of the Constitution and, therefore, need to be funded and facilitated.
 
The committee recommended that the review of this be expedited and alternative means should be explored if land tribunals cannot be effective.
 
The Law Development Centre:
 
The biggest observation was that the centre lacks sufficient funding. The committee recommended that government provide funding in order to cater for development requirements of the Law Development Centre.
 
Parliamentary Commission:
 
It was observed that a total of Shs 5,669,166,667 billion approved under the development budget was not released to the Parliamentary Commission. The problem is that as long as the development budget is not charged on the Consolidated Fund, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development will continue to control its release and reallocation. Therefore, most of the development activities the commission had planned to be undertaken last year were not implemented due to the failure to release the above amount. The activities have, therefore, been included in the budget of 2007/08.
 
The committee recommended that Parliament should be reclassified as a legislative sector.
 
Having considered the policy reports, Mr Speaker, permit me to present the budgets recommended by the committee for adoption by this Parliament:
 
Vote 007, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the total is Shs 49,978,847,000 broken down as follows:
 
Vote 106, Uganda Human Rights Commission, a total of Shs 6,904,688,000;
 
Vote 101, Judiciary, a total of Shs 24,925,465,000;
 
Vote 109, Law Development Centre, a total of Shs 4,180,033,000;
 
Vote 103, Inspectorate of Government, a total of Shs 24,402,184,000;
 
Vote 104, Parliamentary Commission, a total of Shs 88,791,353,250;
 
Vote 105, Uganda Law Reform Commission, a total of Shs 2,271,726,000;
 
Vote 102, Electoral Commission, a total of Shs19,912,123,000;
 
Vote 133, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, a total of Shs 5,369,028,000;
 
Judicial Service Commission, a total of Shs 1,608,413,000.
 
Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairperson and members of the committee for the report.
 
12.38
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR JUSTICE (Mr Fred Ruhindi): Mr Speaker, just a few points that I thought I would clarify before we adopt these estimates, the first is on the issue of judges. The vice-chairperson of the committee rightly pointed out that the Judicial Service Commission has made appropriate recommendations to the appointing authority. We hope that in due course these appointments will be made to enable the Judiciary to perform well and alleviate the problem of backlog of cases.
 
On appointment of judges on contract to alleviate the problem of backlog of cases, that certainly has a problem because when we come here, I am sure you will ask us: Why do you not first have the full complement of judges, which is 50 that was actually passed under a resolution of Parliament, before you talk about appointment of judges on contract? The constraint, as you know, is resources. Coming to the full complement of 50 judges when right now as I speak, the complement that we have is 30 and we are expecting that ten more may be appointed according to the available resources - we still have a very big challenge on our hands. The principle is accepted. In fact there is a paper, which was discussed last week by the Judicial Service Commission on appointment of judges on contract.
 
Then the issue of land tribunals also remains problematic. The chairperson knows very well that some time back the Chief Justice issued a circular reverting the jurisdiction of district land tribunals, whose chairpersons terms of contracts had expired, back to the magistrates. There has not been any renewal; there were found to be many problems apart from the funding. If you recall very well, when that issue was being debated on the Floor of this House, what actually came in the proposed Bill was that district land tribunals should be housed in the Ministry of Lands and that they should function as special courts in such a way that they are easily accessible so that justice is more or less demystified. You know the justice in the ordinary court system sometimes creates so many scenarios, the procedures and all those. So, the idea was that if the land tribunals were in the Ministry of Lands that would actually hasten the processes of accessing justice.
 
But the matter came here and it was resolved that these district land tribunals should be housed in the Judiciary. That also created a problem. Fitting these district land tribunals within the Judiciary also become a problem. There was also a problem of quorum. We debated it here, we had many problems; having a panel of three sitting at any one given time became a problem. Most of us here who are lawyers would go to these district land tribunals; if the chairperson was present, one was absent maybe attending a course somewhere. If that one was present, another one was missing and you remember that one of the issues was: cannot, for instance, a chairperson alone or maybe with one or more members but not with full quorum, meaning all the panellists being present, hear and determine a case? That too was passed that all should be present but in practice it has actually posed many problems. What we are doing (Interruption)
 
MR LUKWAGO: I thank you, Mr Speaker. I have attentively listened to the observations of the Attorney-General. The clarification I am seeking here is about the lamentations he is making before this august House about the problems they are facing in the Judiciary. Is it not the duty of your ministry or its obligation to come up with an amendment of the law to ensure that we streamline the operations of the land tribunals? What actions have you taken up, up to now? Would it be proper for the Attorney-General to come to this august House and lament about these problems, which are engrained within the law and yet the solution lies entirely within his ministry? I am seeking a clarification on that.
 
MR RUHINDI: Mr Speaker, I am not lamenting. Maybe the Shadow Attorney-General is the one lamenting. If only he had given me the chance to conclude the issue and then respond because I was coming to exactly what the ministry is doing. That was actually the following issue I was going to attend to. The Justice, Law and Order Sector has commissioned a study, you may even know of it, to handle two aspects of justice; that is, family justice and land justice. In fact as I speak now that report is as good as ready because they are actually supposed to give us the final report by the close of this month. Therefore, we are on schedule. We shall certainly be coming with the possible amendments, if need be, to propose those recommendations as we need to feedback to you in due course.
 
Finally, on the Domestic Relations Bill (DRB), I am not debating because we were told to make statements on some of these issues. I have spoken here before and I have emphasized one thing: that it is not prudent for this House to sit here and pass legislations when people are demonstrating on the streets of Kampala. The problem has been that - and I keep on emphasizing this in my capacity as your Minister of State for Justice - I have not fully consulted on these issues because I seem to see different opinions and attitudes on this matter. But this is my position. My view is that what is being objected to particularly from the Islam community is the omnibus nature of the DRB.
 
I have already proposed to the Uganda Law Reform Commission that the status quo is to consider amending laws as they stand. The Marriage Act should be amended and brought here for debate. The Divorce Act should be amended and brought here for debate. The Marriage and Divorce of Mohammedans Act should be amended and brought here for debate. And we are also going to come with a law to operationalise the Kadhi Courts as commanded by the Constitution. That way, in my opinion, we shall be harmonising the situation and that is the position I think we should take. Thank you so much.
 
MR LUKWAGO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I do appreciate the position of the Attorney-General. On these two issues I think we need a clear-cut answer to this question. We still have the DRB in particular on our legislative agenda. What is the position of government? Why should we continue having this Bill on our legislative agenda when the position of government is that we should split these laws? Actually we should remain with the current legal regime having different instruments for different types of marriages. So, why do we not have this Bill withdrawn from Parliament? How can we have a Bill, which is lapsing with different sessions of Parliament? It keeps on coming and it lapses; it is overtaken by events. I think it would be better that the Bill is withdrawn.
 
You go back to the drawing board and bring those necessary amendments. I do not think it is the duty of the Uganda Law Reform Commission to amend these laws; it is the duty of the Attorney-General. So, I implore the Attorney-General to come up with those amendments to this Bill.
 
Finally, on the issue of the Kadhi Courts, I think the Attorney-General is dilly-dallying on this matter. You are procrastinating too much on this issue. The Constitution was enacted way back in 1995 and it made a provision for these courts. We have taken trouble as Parliament, right from the Sixth Parliament through the Seventh Parliament and now in the Eighth Parliament, to operationalise a number of articles. This article, specifically which talks about establishment of courts which have got implications on our budget and expenditure, has not been tabled up to now. We even went through the process of amending the Constitution; we were only lucky that the article was not repealed. It could have been dropped in the ocean because it was dormant. So I would pray that we be given a time frame within which this Bill could be tabled so that we get to know and explain it to our electorate. We need a clear position from the Attorney-General as to when this Bill would be tabled in Parliament so that this matter is put to rest. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
MR RUHINDI: Mr Speaker, there is the concept of collective responsibility. The Attorney-General is a member of Cabinet and he takes his recommendations and proposals to Cabinet and Cabinet either agrees or disagrees. So, I suggest that since this matter has not actually been discussed in Cabinet, it would not be prudent for me to give a deadline on a matter that has not been agreed upon by Cabinet. But all I am proposing is that in one or two months time I should be taking these two issues before Cabinet for discussion and then thereafter we shall communicate a decision to this House.
 
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND INTERNAL AFFAIRS ON THE BUDGETARY PROPOSALS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2007/08
 
12.52
THE VICE-CHAIRPERSON, COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND INTERNAL AFFAIRS (Ms Jessica Alupo): Mr Speaker, I beg to lay on the Table a copy of the report of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs on the policy statements of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the financial year 2007/08. The report covers the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Uganda Police Force and the Uganda Prisons Service.
 
The committee observed that the ministries of Defence and Internal Affairs are key stakeholders in the Juba Peace process and that the Juba Peace Talks are going on in the right direction. In that vein, the committee recommended that government continues to give its full support to the peace talks.
 
The committee also observed that UPDF deployment in Somalia has registered tremendous achievements like the sustained operationalisation of the airport of Somalia and the trade that is booming right now in the sea port of Mogadishu. That has enabled Somalia to raise its revenue. The committee recommended that in that spirit it supports the governments decision to send 220 UPDF instructors in the very near future to continue building capacity for the Somali armed forces so that they can take charge of their peace and security.
 
Mr Speaker, the committee also observed that the ongoing disarmament programme in Karamoja has registered some achievements. The committee strongly recommends that government should continue pursuing the disarmament programme to its logical conclusion. But the committee strongly recommended that the UPDF should protect the people of Kapchorwa, Bukwo, and Nakapiripirit from the cattle rustlers from Kenya and the people of Kaabong from cattle rustlers from Sudan.
 
Very recently the UPDF salaries were increased but the committee observed that they were increased from the rank of private to the rank of second lieutenant. Against this background, the committee strongly recommends that government finds money so that the salary increments are expedited across the ranks. Besides that, the committee also recommends that salary increments for the lowest paid police constables and prisons warder should correspond with the salary of the lowest paid UPDF soldier.
 
The committee also observed that the pensions and gratuity and survival benefits in the UPDF still take a very long process for the beneficiaries to eventually get their dues. So, the committee strongly recommends that the UPDF should try to simplify the process under which the UPDF veterans can access their gratuity and pensions.
 
The committee observed that the conflict between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo that was involving the island of Rukwanzi, oil et cetera, should continue being pursued under the negotiation table and the committee strongly recommends that it should not degenerate into war.
 
The police headquarters that is about to be built in Naguru has only Shs 2.0 billion to kick start the project. The committee strongly recommends that more money should be found in order to accomplish the project so that the police eventually have their headquarters.
 
In the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the committee observed that there were so many anomalies especially in the monitoring of the NGOs in the country and particularly in reference to what was ongoing in the Pentecostal churches in the country. So the committee strongly recommends that the Ministry of Internal Affairs should make strong regulations to regulate the NGOs in the country.
 
The committee also recommended that the Directorate of Immigration under the Ministry of Internal Affairs should be computerised because as I talk now it is manual.
 
Suffice it to say that the congestion in government prisons is 12 times the normal number. So, the committee recommended very strongly that government should try to find a solution to this problem, as we are all potential prisoners.
 
The budgetary allocations for this financial year for the Ministry of Defence and that of Internal Affairs are as follows:
 
Vote 004  Ministry of Defence: recurrent expenditure is Shs 395,337,329,000; and development expenditure is Shs 31,149,592,000.
 
Vote 009  Ministry of Internal Affairs: recurrent expenditure is Shs 11,426,602,000; and development expenditure is Shs 268,346,000.
 
Vote 114  Uganda Police Force: recurrent expenditure is Shs 109,325,607,000; and development expenditure is Shs 5,587,748,000.
 
Vote 145  Uganda Prison Service: recurrent expenditure is Shs 39,625,855,000; and development expenditure is Shs 1,516,435,000.
 
Mr Speaker, the committee recommends that this House approves the proposed budgetary allocations to the above Votes. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairperson. I want to thank you very much for your summary. I want to thank you for the report and I also thank the members. Thank you very much. We have clearly understood it. (Applause)
 
Honourable members, we have now received the recommendations of all the sessional committees in as far as the Budget is concerned. However, I have also received a corrigendum that there are certain corrections that have been made especially in Local Government. Therefore, I ask the chairpersons of the committee concerned to look at these figures because we shall have to adjust the figures when we read them. They may change from your recommendation because in local governments, especially in districts, I see a number of additions and subtractions - there are many increases in the districts. So this should be taken into account when we are finally working out the figures.
 
The other issue is (Interjections)- I think that was cleared yesterday; that was the Ministry of Education. The corrigenda came in time and these were reflected in the figures the chairperson read. Again I think Local Government has been affected by the corrections that we have. So, the chairperson of the committee should sit with the minister so that they adjust the figures. There are some positive results of the corrigenda as I see.
 
1.03
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FINANCE, PLANNING (Mr Omwony Ojwok): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. You are totally correct in pointing out that certain figures have not yet been fully reconciled. We are trying to work out that reconciliation.
 
Secondly, on the issue of water for production, yesterday we agreed that the budget would be transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture. We have now got the figures. If both the recurrent and the development budget are transferred the figures are there for us to see. So, I agree with you that that kind of reconciliation should be handled at the committee stage. Thank you.
 
MINISTERIAL STATEMENT
 
1.04
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR WORKS (Mr John Byabagambi): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to inform the public, through the Members of Parliament, the measures the Ministry of Works and Transport is compelled to take on some of the roads, which are heavily affected by the rains in the North and North eastern Uganda. In particular I have singled out only international routes and that is Gulu-Atyak-Nimule road, which is 104 km long, and Muyembe-Moroto road, which is 196 km.
 
As the Members may be aware, the condition of these roads had deteriorated due to the current rains and especially on Atyak road due to heavy traffic to Southern Sudan. Consequently, some of the sections have become impassable to traffic. Let me read to you the sections on Gulu-Atyak road, which have been affected: 35.8 km of that section have been destroyed; low vehicles cannot pass, therefore, we are forced to tow them. On the section at 40 km, 40 metres are deteriorating at a very high rate. At section 42, there are 50 metres with black cotton soil, which has now closed the road. Work has been going on at this location since Thursday, but still we have not yet managed to go through.
 
At section 42, we still have got black cotton soil and here we still have to tow the vehicles. At section 44, there are 300 metres where vehicles have to be towed using the Ministry of Works graders. At section 51, 150 metres are deteriorating rapidly.
 
Therefore, traffic to and from Sudan is heavily inconvenienced to the extent that vehicles are lining up on either side for a stretch of one kilometre. We have mobilised equipment from all other stations. We have got three tippers at site, two lories, two graders and one wheel loader. The UPDF has also come in, and we are now using their Mambas to pull heavy trucks, which are stuck there.
 
Works on this road started on the 23rd. The road became impassable on the 22nd and 23rd August. We were on the road but there are challenges in executing these works, which I want the honourable members to appreciate.
 
1. The weather: it is still raining cats and dogs, and this has made the emergency works almost impossible.
 
2. We cannot hold gravel especially through the section of the road that is almost blocked by trucks. Then at the same time, the truck drivers are desperate, they do not follow the signs we put on the road; they just come in and then get stuck in between and thereby make our work almost impossible. But with the help of the UPDF and their equipment, I would like to inform the House that within a week, this road would be passable.
 
Then on Muyembe-Moroto road, this road is completely closed. This is due to the damage of Cheptui Bridge, 10 km from Muyembe. The bridge collapsed on Tuesday the 28th and on that very evening I tried my best to contact all the Members of Parliament from Karamoja region through hon. Lokodo Simon. I want to thank Simon for doing a good job to inform the rest.
 
This damage was due to persistent floods, which eroded the riverbank and the foundation of the bridge abutments. As a result, the abutment collapsed and the bridge deck has curved in due to lack of support. So the bridge is dangerous for vehicular traffic and has been closed.
 
On this we would have used a bailey bridge but unfortunately our ministry does not have any in stock at the moment. But there is one bailey bridge we are trying to retrieve from River Manafwa, which was washed in 2001, but our attempts to retrieve this bridge have been curtailed by local politicians and my engineers are still on site to persuade them to give us this bridge so that we cam take it to Muyembe.
 
MR COSMAS MAFABI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. We have been with the minister, we have moved with him and showed him all the hot spots where we need bridges. And he has stood on his two legs and promised the Bagisu that the bridges will come. Now that bridge is all we have to hold on to as we wait for the honourable minister to fulfil his promise, and we will hold on to it until the promise has been fulfilled. Thank you very much.
 
MR BYABAGAMBI: Sir, it is true that I have been in that region two times. We have captured all the crossings and we are accessing the nature and the extent of work that is supposed to be done on those bridges and as usual, it has to go through the process. I was there six months ago and I do not think that I can construct a bridge within six months. But the truth is that we are working on it and we are assessing the nature and the extent of works, which are going to be done there.
 
But here I am talking of temporary or emergency work, which is on an international highway, which is the Gulu-Moroto road, joining us with Sudan. It is, therefore, my humble request that the Members of Parliament and the local politicians there do allow us to carry this bridge away; it is the only one, which is available and it is not being utilised. Let us take it to Muyembe very quickly because it is an international highway. The ministry will work very fast to see to it that a permanent solution is got for that bridge - there is no other alternative route and we have advised all the people on radio announcements that people going to that side should use Mbale-Soroti, or Katakwi-Moroto road. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, for that statement. Hon. Minister of Internal Affairs, do you want to make a statement?
 
1.14
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr Matia Kasaija): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I want to add on two points to the report that has been delivered by my Chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.
 
The first one is on the registration of NGOs. I want this House to note that we have a problem in that NGOs can now register under three laws: they can register under the companies law, under the trustees law, or under the NGO law. If they register under the first two laws, then we the Ministers of Internal Affairs have our hands tied. Mr Speaker, you remember I was asked to come here and make a statement about two NGOs: ACID and COWE. I remember that this House gave me instructions to have them closed or something like that but on further examination I found that I do not have that legal authority because those two NGOs are registered under the companies law.
 
The second point that I want this House to take note of is the question of recruitment and deployment of the Anti-stock Theft Unit in Karamoja. We are proceeding very well but I thought I should mention that some communities surrounding Karamoja are too unhappy that we should go ahead and recruit Karimojong and arm them to look after their internal security.
 
I am, therefore, under very heavy criticism from some neighbouring communities of the Karimojong. But I want to make it very clear that Karamoja is part of Uganda, the Karimojong are Ugandans and, therefore, they are also entitled to services of internal security like any other communities that we have helped. This is politically sensitive but we must understand each other as Ugandans. All I would pray and beg the neighbouring communities of Karamoja is to make sure that they are vigilant in protecting those areas because we have already given them the facilities. They should make sure that when the Karimojong are doing their own business within Karamoja to protect and manage their internal security, they do not become a nuisance to the neighbours. I thought I should make that clarification, Mr Speaker. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
 
MR WADRI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I do not intend to open up the debate, however, there is something pertinent, which the honourable minister has mentioned and I thought that if I gave my opinion and advice on the matter it might help him in streamlining the management of NGOs.
 
When the NGO Registration Act was made, its purpose and primary objective was to bring to the main fold the activities of NGOs in this country. It had been realised that many unscrupulous persons had either registered NGOs, or had what we used to call briefcase NGOs throughout the country. At that time the position was that regardless of whether you had registered your organisation under the Companies Act or not, you were still duty bound to register under the NGO Registration Board so that the Ministry of Internal Affairs would have full grip and be able to carry out routine supervision and monitoring of the activities of the NGOs.
 
I very well recall that the Ministry of Internal Affairs, through the NGO Registration Board, was supposed to have six monthly reports submitted through the various sector ministries under whose auspices the NGO fell. Now when the minister tells me that their hands are tied, that now renders the NGO Registration Act null and void. Actually it renders it impotent in which case, therefore, it will not address the purpose for which it was enacted. I think the minister needs to go back and make thorough consultation with the technocrats in his ministry and in other ministries that have got a stake in the operations of these NGOs. I recall that during the days when I was still in civil service, I was privileged to have served on the NGO Registration Board because it drew membership from a number of ministries so that different people could be able to make their technical input, which I think if we do not leave the way it is, we will go back to square zero. Anybody will come to this country purporting to be an NGO proprietor and purporting to register. That will be to the detriment of Ugandans and the image of this country, because whatever happens here has got some linkage with other development partners or donor agencies. So I think it is only proper that we once again go to the drawing board so that we address these pertinent issues. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
MR ODIT: The Minister of Internal Affairs is giving us, who are neighbours of Karamoja, a cause to be concerned. Re-arming the Karimojong at this time is not very healthy for one or two reasons. I have authentic data, which justifies our claim and fears. At the moment the people who surround the Karimojong are busy quietly re-stocking. The Karimojong had stocked their sub-region using neighbours animals and these are the (Interjection)- allow me to lay these figures.
 
The information we have is that in the 1980s Apac had 183,725 head of cattle but in the 1990s they had 46,000. Lira District had 244,442 but in the 1990s they had only 10,000. Gulu District in the 1980s (Interjection)- allow me to finish reading this data so that the information can flow and you see where Karamoja falls. In the 1980s, Gulu District had 11,786 head of cattle but in the 1990s they had 11,000 only. Kitgum had 155,106 but in the 1990s they had only 5,000. In the 1980s, Kotido - and this is where our colleagues from Karamoja should listen carefully - had 26,000 head of cattle but by the end of the 1990s they had 400,000 head of cattle, having gained 374,000 head of cattle.
 
Moroto District in the 1980s had 282,000 head of cattle but by the end of the 1990s they had 600,000 with a gain from their neighbours of 318,000. In the 1980s, Soroti had 317,563 but by the end of the 1990s they had only 20,000 head of cattle with a loss of 297,000. Kumi District had 135,000 head of cattle but by the end of the 1990s they had 15,000 with a loss of 120,000. Tororo, which is actually Pallisa now, had 35,000 but by the end of the 1990s they had only 17,500.
 
MS ALUPO: Point of clarification.
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, I can see that this is going to generate into a very emotional debate, which will interrupt the budget process. Honestly, yesterday hon. Onek raised this one and I saw how it was going to generate into another debate; it was the same subject. Please, bear with us. We shall discuss this matter. Let us finish this matter but when we start talking about Karamoja and restocking, it is going to cause a problem.
 
MR KIGYAGI: Mr Speaker, the minister raised that question in reference to the report, which I have just read. I want to make a clarification here that the committee does not share the ministers intention to re-arm the Karimojong. It is not even in our report. Thank you.
 
MR WILLIAM NSUBUGA: Point of clarification, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Please, bear with us. Let us leave this subject; it is a serious matter.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Mr Speaker, is this not marginalisation?
 
THE SPEAKER: We agree but we are going to deal with this matter. We shall give it a full day. The Ministry of Internal Affairs should undertake that.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Thank you, Mr Speaker. You have just said that perhaps in the afternoon we are going to enter the Committee of Supply and you have also (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: No, I was going to give more details. Please, why do you not wait? We have been receiving the reports and, therefore, you are in position to use these reports when we go into the Committee of Supply if you are interested. Today I thought that after lunch we should come here and continue the debate on the motion for this House to resolve itself into a Committee of Supply. When we resolve that we shall start the Committee of Supply maybe tomorrow. You see, we interrupted the debate on the motion by the minister, which he moved on the budget day in order to receive these reports. The earlier programme was that we receive the reports by the 16th of last month so that when we start the general debate on the motion, we would benefit from the reports of the committees. But that was not possible. So when the committees finished their reports, we thought that although it was not the original arrangement, let us receive these reports so that we conclude and then during the Committee of Supply, we use the committees recommendations and observations. That was the purpose.
 
Therefore, for those who fear that there will be no scrutiny, that is not the case. There will be scrutiny when we go into the Committee of Supply because those are the figures. If you think that there is exaggeration, you will say so and under our rules, you will be entitled to move a motion to reduce it. Therefore, this afternoon, we are going to proceed with the debate. I do not have the list that the various chief whips had given me. We had covered some people, but there are, I think, five or six who still need to make their contributions. The Chairperson of the Budget Committee will conclude this so that tomorrow we start the Committee of Supply.
 
MR KIGYAGI: Mr Speaker, please, request the Clerk to avail those reports that we do not have namely: Defence, Internal Affairs, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Natural Resources. These reports have not been received.
 
THE SPEAKER: He is actually following and monitoring what is going on so I add to your voice that please, Clerk, do the needful.
 
MR WILLIAM NSUBUGA: Mr Speaker, you have talked about the corrigenda and I understand that the chairpersons have received copies. I would request that all Members get copies so that we can also follow when we enter the Committee of Supply.
 
THE SPEAKER: Minister, can you give us enough copies for Members to follow what is going on? Well, it is mostly with local government, the districts, but let us see what we can do so that on your records you have the corrigenda.
 
MR OJWOK: Mr Speaker, the corrigenda are already integrated into the Appropriations Bill and this will be available. Thank you.
 
PROF. NSIBAMBI: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As you know, tomorrow Cabinet must meet. So if we go into a Committee of Supply, the ministers may not be here to defend their budgets. Under the circumstances, I am requesting all the ministers and ministers of state to meet in Cabinet at 9.00 a.m. and then we shall make a decision as to how to handle the problem.
 
MR OKECHO: Mr Speaker, we have received the draft appropriations and I have been distributing them to the various chairpersons of the sessional committees for scrutiny and also to the Parliamentary Budget Office for scrutiny. Therefore, we hope that by the end of today we shall have matched the figures with those in the reports so that we are able to expedite the appropriation tomorrow. Thank you very much.
 
THE SPEAKER: I think this is a convenient time to suspend the proceedings until 2.30 p.m. Is that ok?
 
MR OKECHO: To be able to agree on the figures, I am also requesting the chairpersons of the various committees to meet tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. in room 220.
 
THE SPEAKER: Let us come back at 2.45 p.m.
 
(The proceedings were suspended at 1.32 p.m._ on resumption at 3.03 p.m., the Speaker presiding.)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, as I indicated in the morning, we should be winding up the debate on the motion for this House to resolve itself into a Committee of Supply. I expect a few contributions and then we will wind up so that tomorrow we can start the supply aspect. As I indicated in the morning also, the scrutiny will actually come when these figures are read out. Should your position be that these figures are exaggerated or that they should not be given to a ministry, then you will be free to raise this matter. But the scrutiny of these estimates is effectively done by the committees themselves because the committees are helped by the technocrats, the political leadership who are able to go to the committee and present their case. Even other stakeholders who cannot come here are free to go to the committees and present their case.
 
We have been scrutinising the Budget since April when we started the exercise and we sent our comments about various allocations to the President so that they would be incorporated into the Budget. When the Budget was read it had some impact from the committees. Also, when the Budget is read, we return it to the committees to scrutinise again and have deeper understanding of what has been done. They are assisted by the Budget Committee. We did not have that system before.
 
As for choosing which Vote to deal with, in many parliaments they do not deal with all the votes. It is the Opposition to say, We want Defence; we want the roads; we want this and the other, but others are passed. But good enough for us we have scrutinised them in the committees. Other parliaments do not have committees as we have here and I think this has to be understood that we are not rubber stamping. We have done our work and it is the committees that recommend that we pass. We cannot just sit here and recommend. No! So, this is the procedure that we use and I think that we should be able to explain to the public about how we conduct our business.
 
Anyway, from now, the Floor is open for those who want to contribute to the motion by the Minister of Finance that we resolve ourselves into a Committee of Supply.
 
3.06
MR EMANUEL DOMBO (NRM, Bunyole County, Butaleja): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I do support the motion. However, in supporting this motion I just want to draw the attention of the Members of this House that there are two things, which are happening. At times as Members of Parliament we tend to concentrate on the policy issues at the time of the Budget and at times we relax during the course of the implementation of the activities. I raise this because of certain observations. I was hearing recommendations by Members in the reports that have just been laid on the Table when the Member would observe that this is happening, but we shall look at it next time in the next financial year, as if during the course of the entire budget implementation - this process is just beginning. I would rather encourage Members of Parliament that many technocrats from the ministries take advantage because of the congested work we have at times as a Parliament to hide so many things when they know very well that they will only appear again before Members of Parliament during the subsequent budget, which will be coming.
 
Therefore, although this method has been adopted, it does not in any way preclude Members of Parliament from going ahead during the process of implementation to raise issues that are of policy nature; to make recommendations, even inviting the ministers back to give us a progressive report on how they are utilising the funds that have been approved by us as a Parliament. With those few remarks, I do support the motion.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much, honourable member.
 
3.08
MR ALEX NDEEZI (NRM, People with Disabilities, Central): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I have been closely following the proceedings of this House since we started deliberations on this Budget. I would like to put forward my concern regarding one constitutional duty that we have not managed to fulfil.
 
Mr Speaker, you are aware that we are supposed to utilise this Budget to fulfil certain constitutional obligations. If you look at Article 32 of the Constitution of Uganda, this Parliament is supposed to have enabled the Government of Uganda establish the Equal Opportunities Commission. This commission should have been established by September of last year. We took oath as MPs to observe the provisions of the Constitution. I now would like specifically to ensure that this Equal Opportunities Commission is established. The truth is that we have not emerged through this to ensure that resources are located to operationalise the provision regarding the establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
 
I have heard responses from the Prime Minister in relation to this subject but the government did not pronounce itself on this matter. Therefore, I would like to request you to use your power and mandate to ensure that the Executive is properly advised to observe this important constitutional requirement under Article 32 of the Constitution. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
3.10
MR ODONGA OTTO (FDC, Aruu County, Pader): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to support the motion that this House resolves itself into a committee. However, I want to make some three observations.
 
To me it is very worrying if in most of the Votes we are passing the recurrent expenditure is almost 90 percent of the development expenditure. In most ministries, the recurrent expenditure is far beyond the development expenditure. This worries me because if the overhead cost of operation is so high and if development expenditure is understood from the way I understand it, then the cost of administration in this country should generally be reviewed. Because you find a ministry asking like for Shs 300 million as development expenditure and Shs 3.9 billion as recurrent expenditure. To a layman like me, it means you are incurring a cost of Shs 3.9 billion to implement an activity of Shs 300 million. So I think this trend should be studied closely and we would really love to see a situation where the development expenditure at worst is at per with recurrent expenditure.
 
That is the first observation -(Interruption)
 
MR RUHINDI: Mr Speaker, I certainly appreciate the concern being raised by my colleague, hon. Odonga Otto, and I agree with him in principle except that I would like him to relate the expenditure to the nature of the services offered in the organisation. Because you may actually find that in some organisations there are principally service organisations where really the quantum required in the development sector may be minimal. So, I do not know whether you have related that in mind and what your view may be on it.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Thank you so much. The learned Attorney-General is right and I am also right; so we are all right. In committees, like in the Ministry of Justice where you are doing so well, it is understandable that we expect more of service delivery than building houses. We expect the courts to run, the prosecution to investigate cases and everything would be done. So, development expenditure would be more of putting up (Interruption)
 
MR KIBANZANGA: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Hon. Odonga Otto is telling us that the Attorney-Generals chambers are doing very well and, therefore, justifying their recurrent expenditure vis--vis the development expenditure. But we are aware in this country that the Attorney-Generals chambers have lost so many cases and if we are to quantify the amount of money that government is losing in those cases, you will know that the Office of the Attorney-General is really dangerously doing badly. Can you clarify what you mean by them doing well?
 
MR RUHINDI: I think with your due fairness and I want the Vice-Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to help me in clarifying this matter because the Attorney-Generals chambers presented the position of our ministry to the committee and the position is in this report that we have gone through. In that position as I speak, in contra-distinction to what used to happen in the past, the cases where government has been saved millions of money amounts to about Shs 300 billion in comparison to cases lost of about Shs 20 billion. In my opinion, this is commendable work. It would be a person of the callousness  I do not know which expression I should use but certainly it would be very callous to say that with that kind of performance the Attorney-Generals chambers are doing very badly, in the words of hon. Kibanzanga.
 
MR TASHOBYA: Thank you very much. I would like to confirm what the Attorney-General has presented and I would like to confirm that the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs looked at the cases handled by the ministry and was very satisfied and actually commended the ministry for the very good work done by the Attorney-Generals chambers. Maybe at this point I would like to learn from the hon. Kibanzanga as to the source of his information that the Attorney-Generals chambers are doing so badly? Can he clarify as to the source of his information? Thank you very much.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Mr Speaker, I happen to be a Member of the Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. So when I say other ministries like that of the Attorney-General have done fairly well, at least I know what I am saying. You can get to court and you find a magistrate, you find the prosecutors doing their work but in ministries like agriculture, you still find the recurrent expenditure more than the development expenditure. There are other ministries where we expect tangible projects. That is the area where I said we really need to set up a general guideline as Parliament that certain ministries - there is no way we can accept seeing recurrent expenditure higher than development expenditure.
 
The second observation is that I want to appeal to the committee chairpersons because we do the process of budgeting here; our Speaker goes through the very tedious work of reading a nine digit figure and then we vote by saying aye or no then at the end of the day you find government ministries are not functioning well because the Ministry of Finance has not released the money! I think this trend should stop. If we elected leaders sit here 322 of us and we say, Give this money to Defence or Education, then the Minister of Finance goes back and assumes the role of Parliament, I think this is even contempt of Parliament. I know the resource envelope is quite small but eventually for further effective operation of ministries, I would suggest that this Parliament should come out with a formula where certain monies are released unconditionally by Finance. We can determine a percentage like we can release 60 percent of the monies to all the ministries and then exercise discretion on 40 percent. Other than Parliament of Uganda, most ministries are squeezing on their funds and Finance assumes the role of Parliament, which is a very painful experience.
 
MR OKECHO: I would like to thank the honourable member for giving way, but when we looked at the Budget for the last financial year 2006/07 as reflected in the policy statements of the various ministries, we found that the releases from the Ministry of Finance were far above the average. In fact, most of them were beyond 80 percent, which means that the ministry actually released substantial amounts of budgeted funds. Therefore, I do not see how the Ministry of Finance then should be blamed for not having released adequate funds to allow for the activities to be performed properly by the various ministries.
 
Secondly, many of the ministries were advised  and even the sessional committees were advised by the Budget Committee - that we should focus on activity budgeting whereby they identify the activity, cost it and provide for the money required. Therefore, for the ministry to operate it must be spending that money, which it had identified as the cost of that particular activity. Therefore, it was not going to be possible not to spend that money and not to carry out the activities as well. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Mr Speaker, The Chairman Budget Committee, hon. Okecho, should be knowing very well that there are some ministers who come to Parliament saying, Please, help us with Finance. You should have been blowing my trumpet loudest - like the Ministry of Gender. There is a time a parliamentary committee had to intervene even to give a substantial minister a reasonable car and yet they had budgeted for brand new vehicles in that particular ministry! The minister could park in the valley so that he could push the car and start until we had to summon people and say, How do you treat a minister like this? I really do not know what the Chairperson of Budget Committee is talking about. Even last week the Committee of Social Services invited the people from Finance for a joint meeting to see why they are not funding the Committee of Social Services the way Parliament desires. The ministry did not send anyone for that meeting. There was no apology and there was even no excuse; not even a lame one. So, if you are the chairman of a standing committee on budgeting where we should mount pressure on Finance to release this money to our ministers to make them effective and you are here praising the releasers of the money that they have done well, then I think this country has a big problem.
 
MR BYANYIMA: I agree with you, honourable colleague. The Minister of Finance, I do not know why you are taking long to learn a lesson because all these ministers here - it is because they are being diplomatic. One time I can recall hon. Butime said, To get money from Finance, you must spend 80 percent of your time as a minister in the Ministry of Finance, lobbying and requesting for money. For example, this morning I told the House that it is true that we had all arranged that we must have a road fund fenced specifically for road maintenance but surprisingly, you know it very well that you said, Let us keep it in the Consolidated Fund and use it like any other fund and yet all of us are suffering from road maintenance. The donors cannot give us money for repairing our roads. You very well know (Interruption)
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the honourable member for giving way. The practice of the Ministry of Finance of cutting down money approved by Parliament is not new. As a civil servant I suffered under this practice for many years. You budget, you run around do your budget, it is approved by Parliament and then you go to Finance and say, This is what we will have. Really, money is appropriated by the Ministry of Finance and not by Parliament in this country. That is what it means because whatever we do here is undone just by a stroke of the pen by the Minister of Finance.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Thank you very much. Hon. Okello-Okello is a good friend of mine but when it comes to public affairs, we must put things in perspective. It is commonly known that each year the appropriation of funds is carried out critically and there is always a meeting at the very end of the financial year before the Budget is read out. It is in that meeting where the Budget is finally sorted out by having the actual expenditures and revenues allocated. It is this Budget that is brought before this very House for debate; it is debated in the same way we are doing it now and at the end of the day, Parliament approves it. Is it, therefore, in order for my dear brother to give the impression that somehow the Ministry of Finance oversteps the decisions of Parliament and does its own things? I want to be guided, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: I also have this in mind and let me say it out before I decide. Does it mean that after we have authorised the expenditure, you have another type of arrangement where you sit in form of a committee and decide whether to release or not to release or it is done by the officials of Ministry of Finance? Give me this detail so that I am in position to rule. I understand there is always a meeting before the Budget is read. Do you consistently meet after the Budget has been approved?
 
MR OMONY OJWOK: Mr Speaker, I really thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to explain. There is no doubt at all that various sectors are not happy with the allocations that are given and they are also not happy about what happens thereafter. But the explanation is that after Parliament has approved the Budget usually there are additional budgetary pressures that come up and I am sure you are aware of this. Because we are dealing with a poor economy, additional pressures come up and that is what justifies supplementary allocations. Before supplementary allocations are brought to this House, again we meet in Cabinet and look at all the budgetary pressures, one by one. We then collectively decide on what supplementary proposals to take to Parliament for approval, should the need arise.
 
However, I would like to give two explanations, which will help us look beyond what is happening. There is the problem of dealing with a budget that is based on collections every month even after Parliament has allocated money. So, if Uganda Revenue Authority fails to collect enough money and there is a shortfall, somehow, somebody, somewhere must be able to sit and indicate how this problem is going to be handled and I am saying that we do it collectively. That is the point I am trying to make; it is a collective decision.
 
Mr Speaker, like I said yesterday, my appeal is that we should work as a team, first of all within Cabinet itself and outside. We should not use Parliament to hit out at particular ministries when we know that the problem is collective.
 
Secondly, I also appeal to Members of Parliament to actually resist such efforts and to help us work on this thing together.
 
Finally, I propose that since this matter is a continually recurring problem, we should have it as a specific subject of debate so that in case there are some weaknesses they can be brought out through such a debate in this House. I believe that this will help us to improve on our system of budgeting and allocation.
 
THE SPEAKER: I think there could be truth in what you have said especially when you said that, First of all, I admit that sometimes we do not release all the moneys but I regret that this is because of & So hon. Okello-Okello is not out of order. Maybe you did not know that this is an admission on your part.
 
MR BYANYIMA: Mr Speaker, for example how would you expect the Ministry of Finance, which does not deliver any tangible services to have Shs 37 billion for recurrent and Shs 290 billion for development? It is because the Ministry of Finance officials are just selfish; they keep all the money within the ministry and make other ministries to beg. For example, when you go to the Ministry of Finance and you look at the vehicles, which commissioners there drive, you will realise that they are not the same as those of our ministers  (Interruption)- no! Our ministers are beggars to you and I feel it is high time you shaped up. I thank you.
 
THE PRIME MINISTER AND LEADER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS (Prof. Apolo Nsibambi): Mr Speaker, I must clarify this point. We always agree on what is to be given to each ministry in a Cabinet meeting. So really it is not fair to blame the Ministry of Finance. That point must be made absolutely clear as far as all the ministries are concerned. The President chairs the meeting and anybody who is not happy can make his points. So, please do not blame Finance (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: But for how long are we going to debate this issue? What we have in summary is that definitely it happens that there are cuts and they happen because of other demands. I think let us proceed.
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, with due respect to the Prime Ministers submission, allow me to say this. Yesterday the Minister of Finance, while on the Floor, made a statement but because we were tired I did not want to take it up. It was alluding to an issue where he said that it is indiscipline for ministers to leave Cabinet and come to complain to Members of Parliament. This statement was very pregnant and it shows that the Prime Minister (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: With how many months? (Laughter)
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, all I can say is that it is very heavy. I think this was a very strong statement and indicative of what happens behind there where some of us are not privileged to go. Anyway, what I am saying is that when ministers come before this Parliament to make an alarm alluding that there are problems that must be put right, they should not be victimised. Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, the issue we are raising here is that we do not want a conflict to emerge between the Executive arm of Government and Parliament, which has powers to appropriate. We feel this is one of the most elaborate budgeting processes and when we agree on an issue, we feel that it must be respected because that is when it will give credence to the various arms of government that are supposed to work in harmony with one another. But the issue is that Finance must also respond and respect what we usually decide here.
 
At the right time when we are dealing with the budget process - because we have proposed in the various committees - we will invite the Minister of Finance to tell us how he spends Shs 290 billion when there is no money for roads. You withdraw Shs 45 billion from the roads upcountry and you come here and give Ministry of Finance a lot of money for development expenditure? What are they developing? All those are things we need to know when we get through with the Committee of Supply.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Lastly, Mr Speaker (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Otto, did you know that these people were using your time? (Laughter)
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Yes, but at least it enriched the debate, especially the Prime Minsters submission.
 
I would like to appeal to the committee chairpersons to be vigilant because we can appropriate these monies with the Speaker spending a lot of his effort reading the figures and immediately we leave Parliament, the technocrats go and play with their technicalities to render our budgets useless.
 
Despite that, I want to appeal to the honourable ministers that as Members of Parliament, we shall work closely with you to ensure that we have a successful budget process. Where you do not complain and we are able to see a problem, we shall always act even without your complaint. May I also take this opportunity to assure the Prime Minister that when you see some of us raising serious concerns on how some ministries are being mistreated, it is not because they have complained to us, but because we have the eyes that can see these problems? For example, in the last Parliament when it came to our notice that the hon. Minister of Water was using a very ramshackle vehicle and yet the PS was in a comfortable one, we called both of them before us and caused them to swap the vehicles. It was important for us to do that because we could not proceed like that with technocrats smiling while political leaders were suffering in ramshackle vehicles; we shall continue doing that. Thank you so much, Mr Speaker. (Laughter)
 
THE SPEAKER: Yes, let us have hon. Okello-Okello, and then we shall later on have the chairman of chairmen.
 
3.36
MR LIVINGSTONE OKELLO-OKELLO (UPC, Chua County, Kitgum): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I support the motion but I have one observation to make.
 
Under the Land Act of 1998, a Land Fund was created. This fund was supposed to be administered by the Uganda Land Commission. In particular, the fund was to buy off land in Kibaale for the absentee landlords so that Kibaale people could also have land titles. However, along the way this fund has been spread and now I hear about Nakasongola; about the Districts in Ankole Sub-region; I do not know why?
 
My concern is about the new land fund, which is being created in this years budget. If you look at page 12 of the Budget Speech, it is stated clearly that a new fund called the Land Acquisition Loan Facility, starting with Shs 3 billion, will be provided in this financial year. I do not know in which ministry this fund will be located although it is stated here that this fund will be put in Post Bank and to the benefit of only participating SACCOs. I do not know which ones are participating SACCOs and which ones are not.
 
It does not sound right to me, having provided no money to the land fund that is managed by the Uganda Land Commission, to hear of Shs 3 billion being put into a bank. Banks have their own money, which they can lend for any purpose, including land acquisition. Why should government take its own money and put it into somebodys bank? Even SACCOs; whose SACCOs are these? To me this is not right.
 
What makes matters worse is the fact that it is stated here that the fund will be for only 30 districts, which are not spelt, but with each district getting Shs 100 million. Mr Speaker, Shs 100 million is nothing; it cannot acquire any reasonable land anywhere in Uganda. So I think the Chairman of the Budget Committee should stop reading and listen and this -(Interruption)
 
MR OKECHO: I have information, which I would like to give to hon. Okello-Okello. Actually what I am reading, hon. Okello-Okello, is a section of what you are referring to, which says and if I may read it again: The amount per borrower will be kept low in order to enable as many people as possible to participate. This means that Shs 100 million will be sufficient -(Laughter)
 
MR OKELLO-OKELLO: Mr Speaker, the value of land cannot be decided through budgeting. If you keep the amount low and the price I am asking for my piece of land is higher, that money will be purposeless. It cannot be decided in a book like this; it is a market thing; it is decided by the market. So my suggestion is that the Chairman of the Budget Committee should look for this money from wherever it is and have it transferred to the accounts of the Land Fund of the Uganda Land Commission so that it is used for the original purpose, which was decided upon by Parliament, that is to acquire land particularly from the people Kibaale District. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
3.42
MR EMILLY OTEKAT (Independent, Serere County, Soroti): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I support the motion that Parliament resolves itself into a Committee of Supply. However, I have some general concerns regarding the Budget.
 
The first one is the issue of resource allocation. This issue, which mainly concerns local governments, has come to this House several times but every time it has been here, we have been told that the Office of the Prime Minster is still handling it. Now that today we have the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister here, I would like to ask him to throw light on that. I am saying this because the ministries that are accused of having not complied with this formula seem not to be having a better answer. So since the ministers themselves are here, let them give us a brief about that. Although I have not seen the Minister of Health, it is okay because those are the two big ministries that are being accused of having not complied with this formula. It is important that we are given a clarification on this because local governments are trying to figure out how they are being given the money, but failing.
 
When my captain, hon. Odonga Otto said that when you go to the Ministry of Finance you do not know exactly what you are supposed to do there, I was not surprised. It did not surprise me because having been a chairperson of a district I used to experience some of these problems. When you go there, because you do not know the formula that is being used to allocate resources to your district, you have nothing to argue about. You cannot tell why for instance, a district say Manafwa can get a certain amount of money that is smaller than that allocated to another newly created district of say Bududa; this maybe in terms of classroom construction and when you ask, nobody will clarify it to you.
 
So, again to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, maybe this is the right time for you to clarify to local governments. What is the formula and when can local governments get this formula so that they can follow it up with the Ministry of Finance?
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Just on the same question, last week the Speaker directed the Minister of Finance to come to Parliament and explain the formula of how money is divided between districts, because I had given an example, which is factual. Soroti has a bigger population than Mbarara by 55,000 and Mbarara District is getting Shs 1.9 billion more than Soroti. So the Speaker directed the Minister of Finance, at that time it was hon. Omach, to come and explain to Parliament the formula. Yet from that time to today, he has disappeared without any notice and the one on board may not be competent because the research (Interjection)- the Speaker directed hon. Omach. It is scientific. It is not just about opinion. That is the information I would like to give.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: I thank hon. Otto for reminding us about this matter. We were just waiting for an appropriate opportunity to give the information. By the way, it is incorrect to say that because hon. Omach as an individual is not here, therefore, he is not there. He is here in the form of hon. Omwony Ojwok, MP, Labwor County, Abim District.
 
The information, for the benefit of Members, is as follows. There are two sets of funds that are usually sent to the districts. One of them is capitation grant. That one is passed on to the Ministry of Education and it is based on school enrolment, not population. The Ministry of Education is in a position to give further details and I am happy to say my sister, the Minister of Education, is physically present.
 
The second category of funds is unconditional grants. It is true to say that some districts, which appear by population to be small, are receiving more and the explanation is this. The allocation essentially is based first on payroll. Every district has got a number of people employed in that district and these employees receive funds. These funds constitute what is called the payroll. So, the first element in the allocation is based on the payroll that that particular district is entitled to, and as you know, different districts have got different levels of payroll, but in addition to that (Interruption)
 
MR WADRI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I wish to thank the minister for allowing me this opportunity to seek the following clarification. It is true in your explanation districts are not in parity as far as staffing position is concerned. I will be more than interested in knowing from you the breakdown of both recurrent and development budget, which probably I think will answer my colleague, hon. Odonga Ottos concerns.
 
If you took two districts, you may find that the staffing position in one district is much higher. That will only reflect the recurrent expenditure. I think for our purpose we are more interested in what goes for the development budget. The development budget should be based on population of the district. First and foremost, could you give us that so that we can work in tandem?
 
THE SPEAKER: Is it the view of honourable members that you are not interested in the formula for recurrent; are you only interested in development budget?
 
HON. MEMBERS: No.
 
THE SPEAKER: I think let them get everything.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Yes, Mr Speaker. I thank the Opposition Chief Whip. Indeed that is what I was coming to. I was saying, the first criterion is the payroll but after the payroll has been covered, a certain amount of money remains. We call that the balance. The balance is then distributed according to population, according to area, that is the geographical size of the districts concerned.
 
Now there is also some discussion further with the Ministry of Local Government about something, which came out on Buhweju where you find that a district may appear to be small in size but because of the topography and the problems of communication, for example a very mountainous area, you will find that there is need for us also to take that into account. I accept the point that some of these details can be provided for and in fact those details are not with the Ministry of Finance but the Ministry of Local Government in their finance commission. They can provide those particular details. I thank you.
 
THE SPEAKER: So, what I think would be helpful to us is you giving us a written document.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: The clarification I would like to seek is: the minister said one of the criteria is using the payroll. I still want to compare the payroll of Mbarara and Soroti districts. The wage bill in the current budget for Vote 537, Mbarara District, which in a laymans term I think would cover things like payroll is Shs 7.5 billion, and the wage bill for Soroti is Shs 7.2 billion. So far, fine.
 
The number of staff in Soroti and Mbarara could be the same, that is why the figures are similar. But when you come to the balance, the non-wage bill, you will find that Mbarara District is taking Shs 5.3 billion and Soroti is taking Shs 3 billion. So how does the factor of population size come in this non-wage bill? If it were in terms of population Soroti would still be bigger than Mbarara, in terms of size and geographically. I guess even Soroti would be bigger than Mbarara, say for the topography. So how do you explain the difference of Shs 2 billion in the non-wage allocations in these two districts, honourable minister?
 
THE SPEAKER: Dont you think giving us that formula will settle our minds? You take the example of Soroti and Mbarara and show us how the difference arises. That will help us to (Interruption)
 
MS ALASO: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like the honourable minister to also help me appreciate the fact that the staff ceiling in the districts are set based on directives from the central government. It is the central government that tells you, using the Ministry of Public Service that, You can recruit up to this level; so they gave that direction. So if a district decided that they would stick to a certain staff ceiling, not necessarily that the staff they have is adequate to meet the needs of the population but that this is the direction and the ceiling that they were given, how do you relate the question of staff ceiling to the payroll as being an essential criteria to help in servicing the needs of the population, given the fact that in the first instance you set a condition that could not allow for recruitment of adequate staff in that district?
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Mr Speaker, regarding the allocations specific to particular districts, for example Soroti and Mbarara, I would like to say that the details are not with the Ministry of Finance but the Ministry of Local Government and the Local Government Finance Commission, which has a constitutional right to guide us in some of these details. So my proposal would be, without hiding anything, that we should really  the committee has a chance to call these people at a particular time and get those details. The Ministry of Finance cannot actually provide it here.
 
THE SPEAKER: Since this was directed to the Ministry of Finance and you have actually done your work but there are certain things lacking, you liaise with the Ministry of Local Government about these questions so that you give us a comprehensive detailed formula. It is okay. Take your time.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: So can we receive that at a later point? Thank you.
 
MR OTEKAT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to thank the Minister of Finance for making that clarification because it will make many local governments come to rest when it comes to allocation of funds.
 
The second point I want to inform the Members of the august House about is that during the last financial year there are two spheres of - we know there is central government and there is local government. Last financial year local government got a general budget of 24 percent and then this year it has dropped to 22 percent. Instead of going up it is dropping down. I want to bring it to the attention of the House that it is better, since basic services are provided to our people at local government level we must make sure that we send adequate funds to service local governments at that level.
 
As I speak now, Mr Speaker, some local governments particularly LC III local governments are virtually non-operational because they do not have any funds. I want also to bring that to the attention of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Local Government so that when the next budget comes at least we bear in mind that we need  because what happens when you scrutinise the budget critically, you find that most of the funds particularly of central governments, some of the funds, most of them go towards maintenance of vehicles, entertainment and so forth. And if you can convert that money and it goes to local government, it can do a lot of work.
 
Lastly, again as said earlier the issue of later releases, during the close of this financial year, as far as local governments are concerned, over 50 percent of local governments their releases again came late and most of them had to grapple with how to convince the Ministry of Finance that they need to retain that money to enable them carry out services. Again this has been talked about, it still goes to the Ministry of Finance that we need to send this money particularly as we know that the year is coming to an end, the funds should be submitted to the ministries that need to receive them, and the local government needs to receive them early enough. But sometimes you find a district - again I am referring to my own district Soroti, Soroti received money for roads on the 23rd of June and they were supposed  about Shs 500 million and they are supposed to work between (Interruption)
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, we would want the Minister of Finance to clarify because in the various workshops we have had this allegation has been coming up that the officers in the Ministry of Finance deliberately release money late so that this money is returned to the centre. This is why from those meetings Parliament started questioning the opening balances on the Consolidated Fund, how that money which is returned is utilised. We would want the Ministry of Finance to confirm whether the allegations and peoples suspicions are actually a fact so that we could find out how best we can make recommendations about it.
 
MR OTEKAT: Mr Speaker, finally the issue of compensation for graduated tax, just again for the information of the august House, we are already in the third month of the financial year but as I speak, the local government districts and sub-counties have no local revenues because their revenue was graduated tax. They have no local revenue to hold their council meetings. You might have heard that in a certain place in Western Uganda one of the ministers could not even meet council because they had no funds to make them meet the council.
 
There is also that issue of facilitating local governments with graduated tax compensation needs to be looked at critically because I am not looking at a situation where the local service tax and the hotel taxes are going to be of use soon. The whole of this year local service tax and hotel taxes will not be of any use to local governments probably until next year. So, it is better for the august House to save the local governments and again recommend that some money in form of graduated tax compensation is given to central government. I thank you.
 
4.00
MR HARRY KASIGWA (FDC, Jinja Municipality West, Jinja): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I support the motion but I would want to take on from where hon. Dombo stopped when you say that the Ministry of Finance should respect what Parliament does. This should be put into context of the national strategy for development of the country. As far as we are concerned, the strategy that government has taken on is the Poverty Eradication Action Plan strategy, and the focus of this strategy is the Ministry of Finance. So until we ask ourselves one question: is the strategy appropriate after so many years of implementation? Until we resolve that issue, we shall always have that problem of complaints between the front page and other ministries and the Ministry of Finance. That explains why when you are reporting about PMA its the Ministry of Finance, when you are reporting about investment, it is Ministry of Finance, when you are reporting about performance in education it is the Ministry of Finance. Everything, it is the Ministry of Finance.
 
So my contention is that the PEAP strategy is misleading. That is why we can see that we have spent so much money over a period of time and the poverty levels are increasing. As we speak right now, the number of poor people is increasing. That is why I will pick (Interruption)
 
MR OMWONY OJOK: I would like to refer to the document by the spokesperson of the Opposition on the current budget. I have got a document here, which on page 2 has a reference to the poverty levels. I am talking of point 7(a) and I am quoting verbatim: Income poverty levels declined from 38.4 percent in the financial year 2003 to 31.3 percent in the financial year 2005/06. This is from the horses mouth. So what do I do with the statement coming from your side? Thank you.
 
MR KASIGWA: Thank you very much, hon. Minister of Finance. That is why I said in my considered opinion, that I did not take that as a document.
 
PROF. LATIGO: Thank you, hon. Kasigwa. I thank the minister for quoting that document. What the minister has not told the House is that the figures in those documents were quoted, and if you check the page, you will find the reference source given. However, you were kind enough to inform the House but you did not see where we advanced the argument that while that figure was declining, the absolute number of the poor, which hon. Kasigwa is talking about, is increasing.
 
Secondly, there are some other statistics that would put the statistics you have just quoted into question. So it was not our figures, it was the figures from the Ministry of Finance. We actually used a lot of the figures from the Ministry of Finance; we did not do our own surveys.
 
THE SPEAKER: But, honourable members, if you are talking about numbers you have to compare whether the population itself has or has not increased because the number of the poor can increase in relation to the increasing population. Therefore, it may be misleading and the best way may be to consider the percentages.
 
PROF. LATIGO: Mr Speaker, when we made a statement in reply to the Minister of Finance, we did not want to engage in a critical argument, which we could do. Actually when you talk about poverty and you talk of one dollar a day, in other places like America they are talking about one dollar a day. So for convenience we have accepted to call one dollar a day, poverty. However, if the economy is doing well like that of India, Malaysia and China, the absolute number of the poor people will continue to go down. This is a fundamental challenge that we have accepted as a country, that if your measures to eradicate poverty were working, the increase in the number of people who are actually children of those families that you would have removed from poverty will alter the absolute number of the poor.
 
MR ODUMAN: Mr Speaker, if the minister would like to get the numbers he will realise that from the data that he is using, whereas we say that income poverty reduced, what is clearly attached is the population. If you look at the population census of 1997 compared to the population census of 2005 up to now, we approximated the population to about 30 million. If you apply those percentages, you will discover that the number of the poor people - people living below the poverty line - has increased from eight million to nine million people. We will go into the data at a separate time but that is the complete data from your statistics. Thank you.
 
MR KASIGWA: Thank you very, much for enriching my submission. Mr Speaker and honourable colleagues, we should take this very seriously because we are principal in decision making in this country. Once we get the strategy wrong, however much we talk or invest money, we will move in circles. That is why over these years we have invested in agriculture but what are the returns? You cannot quantify them.
 
For the last 20 years we have not exported a kilogram of beef. Why? We are talking about beef; we have got the infrastructure around yet we have done nothing. The ministry invested in cotton growing as a major concern. It is a pity that as a strategic intervention we were expected to harvest one million bales but we only harvested 130,000 bales. What is the problem? That is why I say that PEAP is very expensive. Overall, it will give you a picture that things are moving on smoothly but in reality, if you made an analysis, it is wrong. Mr Speaker, my submission is that as an arm of government it is time for us to assess for the last so many years how we have run the PEAP strategy of development. What have we achieved quantifiably? If the answer is positive, then we can proceed with PEAP. As far as I am concerned, it will be negative. That is why I want to call upon my colleagues that much as we pass this budget, we should do some bit of soul searching and find out what strategies will move this country forward.
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, I have listened attentively to my colleague, hon. Kasigwa and knowing the traditional role of the Opposition, I would be more excited to hear what the Opposition would have done under the circumstances and what programme they have if the PEAP strategy is not working. That would provide information for us to make an informed position because you seem to be lamenting and yet you do not have anything to offer from the Opposition. What exactly should government have done?
 
MR KASIGWA: Thank you hon. Dombo for raising that concern. It is not that we do not have the strategies in place but I thought that we have been laying these papers on the Table and we shall debate them at a later stage and present the policy. However, I can give you an example. I was reading a document on agriculture and the strategies that the ministry is taking on to ensure that agriculture attracts financial assistance, because as a country if we know that agriculture is the mainstay of more than 80 percent of our population, then we should take it seriously. We should ask our selves: why is it that agriculture contributes only 31.9 percent of the GDP?
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Just to attempt to answer the question posed by hon. Dombo, I think hon. Harry Kasigwas submission is that theoretically, PEAP as a programme is not bad, but the problem is with the implementation agencies. I contend  that is my reading - you know there is the gospel according to Luke, John, and yet Jesus was only one -(Laughter) my contention is that we do not have institutions. Our political leaders make the best decisions but the moment the money gets into the government ministries, we have workshops, capacity building, lunch breaks, and people have positioned themselves in the ministry to eat all the money. We just have workshop tyrants and laptop warriors. The structures to implement these decisions are not there. The problem is not the policy per se.
 
PROF. OGENGA LATIGO: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I appreciate the concern of hon. Dombo but hon. Harry Kasigwa had also suggested that we do some soul searching. I believe that the time of soul searching is when we can talk about what we have. But I can refer you to for example, the party from which I come, FDC. We have a party platform and it is on the website. If you are looking for something to confirm your position, you will not find it there because ours is different. For instance, we are talking about addressing the problem of poverty. If you examine the PEAP framework, which you have, PEAP defines poverty in such a way that there are so many things that governments do, which are normally conditions for enabling you to live better and to be able to generate income, which are embedded in the definition of one dollar a day. For example, the activities that are provided by the Ministry of Education and Sports are factored into that poverty index, and so is health.
 
The problem is that as we build more schools, obviously we will seem to be addressing poverty, and yet the real poverty challenge that this country has is the lack of direction. In order to address income poverty, you need to invest in agriculture but how much money is put in the agricultural sector? That would fundamentally address the issue of poverty as we understand it and we have said that we should dismantle that definition of poverty.
 
Let us focus on income poverty. For instance, I should not have to wait for UPE to take my children to school because I have a sufficient income to take them to school. Therefore, if you address income poverty then you do not have to demonstrate through adding health services and education services that you are addressing poverty. You are addressing health, not poverty. When you give me medicine, you are addressing health; you create the condition for me to work and make money. If you educate me, you are addressing my education and my human capacity to do; you are not addressing my income poverty.
 
For the 80 percent of Ugandans who depend on agriculture, you will only change their income status by promoting their activities for which you will make money. It is really pathetic that we even have the opportunity to try and wriggle ourselves out of a very terrible mess that we are in because with the attention that the agricultural sector gets, you are going to create a huge gap of extremely poor people. That was the information that I wanted to give but at an appropriate time, we should sit down and discuss this matter.
 
THE SPEAKER: Are we not ending this debate?
 
MR KASIGWA: Thank you, Mr Speaker and colleagues, for the information. As I wind up, this is a serious matter. We admire countries like Malaysia, Singapore and today in Africa we admire Ethiopia. It is because of the strategy that they have taken on. Let me give an example from the report of the Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. Government is commended for providing additional incentives to the agricultural sector financing by exempting interest income on agricultural loans and by finance institutions on income tax. Hon. Dombo, this is a strategy. Let us ask ourselves: how much money does agriculture as a sector attract in loans? Compile them across the board and you will see that agriculture this year borrowed Shs 300 billion.
 
You may say, Yes, we are moving in the right direction, but if you quantified it you would find that the money borrowed in agriculture is insignificant. Instead I would hope that government would say, Fine, instead of us gambling with SACCOs, we shall solve the problem from the supply side by supplying money. We should be investing in interests like agricultural insurance, because agriculture by its nature is a very risky business. But to make it attractive, then we should create insurance policies that will drive the agricultural sector, as hon. Latigo has said.
 
Finally, I want to appeal to all of you that after we pass this budget we should go through all the policies that the administration is implementing and you can see that they are seriously flawed; that is why we are moving in circles and we shall always remain poor. Thank you, very much.
 
4.19
MR SANJAY TANNA (Independent, Tororo Municipality, Tororo): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to support the motion. There are several reservations that I have but I will raise a few. The issue of privatisation during the budgeting process has come up fundamentally, during this debate. I happen to sit on the Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry and if we study the document that we have with us, sometimes it beats ones understanding and to me it is very simple. We are hosting CHOGM and all of us support the hosting of CHOGM for one simple reason: one benefit that we will get when we host CHOGM will be the spin offs in the sectors of tourism, trade and industry. It is unfortunate that as I speak today, Uganda remains suspended from the World Tourism Organisation and the arrears for membership fees have not been catered for in this current budget that we are debating.
 
Being a member of this international body gets us a lot of benefits that I would not want to elaborate here, but we will definitely fail to accrue the spin off effect that we desire by hosting CHOGM. We went ahead and said that tourism should be the spin off effect and we approved some money here at the beginning of this week as additional funding for CHOGM. I would like to address Members of this august House and say that most of this money is going as an investment in my own understanding, and we should recoup it in one way or another. Our failure to do so shall be injustice to the people we represent. It is very important that the money approved should be appropriated properly. I am referring to the law that we have, the PPDA Act that was passed. Most of these funds are not appropriated, following the PPDA, in most cases. In some cases they do, but it leaves a lot to be desired and, therefore, we have images like what has come out in the media. A very senior member of this House has come out in the press to criticise the Kyabazingas picture being used; Gaetanos et cetera. It leaves a lot to be desired.
 
I would like to build on the point that hon. Otekat (Interruptions)
 
MR RUHINDI: Mr Speaker, I think hon. Tanna will do this House more justice if he points out the specific cases where he thinks that the PPDA regulations were not followed in the procurement process in the CHOGM arrangement because the procurement law is flexible. It affords waivers in emergency cases and gives elaborate procedures to be followed in other cases. So I think it would be better if hon. Tanna pointed out specific cases so that the responsible sector ministers can respond to them.
 
MR TANNA: It is very unfortunate, Mr Speaker, that the Attorney-General has chosen to refer to me to start pointing out these issues which are very simple. However, without deviating from what I stood up to raise, it was in our papers for almost a week where a senior government official was involved in bickering over the allocation of the car contract and up to now you have a case in court where one of the car suppliers - there are several such cases. It is unfortunate that we are getting into such petty cases. However, the Attorney-Generals office should be in order to pinpoint these issues, and like I said at the beginning of my presentation, we must be accountable to the people we represent.
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, when we made the PPDA law as Parliament we gave leverage to government to enable government to operate in case emergency circumstances emerged. What is more surprising in this implementation of the CHOGM project is that everything has become an emergency even in situations where it was anticipated. These are issues that we are raising in good faith so that we can improve and make better; it is not basically in bad will that they have been raised.
 
MR TANNA: Thank you, honourable colleague. The other issue that I would like to raise is a concern that I have concerning a field where you excelled and where some of our honourable colleagues are - the department of justice. It has been a case not once but several times where when people go to court and are accused they have to pay a bond fee to come out. The refund process after you have been cleared takes forever and in most cases you find people forfeiting that amount of money. These are issues that have been raised in the committee document that was for the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
 
To build onto what hon. Otekat was saying concerning the local government service tax, this financial year we have not budgeted for money to be given to the local governments, and yet the local government service tax has not yet been implemented. The implementation was stayed and the local governments are in limbo as we speak. I would like to urge the respective authorities to come into place to put up a fund as a temporary measure to help local governments operate normally. Otherwise as we speak, they are in a crisis. Last weekend I was in the constituency and I met the mayor and the councillors; they have come to a stand still. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
4.28
CAPT. GUMA GUMISIRIZA (NRM, Ibanda County North, Ibanda): Mr Speaker and honourable members, budgeting matters are extremely important issues and my firm view is that we should always handle them with the necessary diligence that is required to really look at matters of the budget and the economy.
 
I am happy that the Minister of Finance is now changing and emphasising the public-private strategy of partnership in the management of the economy. Over the years we have seen government relegating this important function to some kind of control of macro-economic variables and then sitting and watching. It was a situation that I always criticised in the last two Parliaments; that was absconding of responsibility on the part of government to assume that control of inflation, the exchange rate and so forth, will sort out the economy. Now I am happy that government is talking of a public-private strategy.
 
In the last financial year, 2006/2007, government made major commitments on areas like infrastructure development, energy, roads, provision of social services, enhancement of rural development, industrial development, the reconstruction of Northern Uganda and other critical areas of public expenditure. Come 14th June this year, in the Budget Speech the minister probably forgot - I do not know - that there was no comment about the performance of these areas, absolutely no comment on these areas and how they performed last financial year! So we are wondering whether these areas performed and what the challenges were. I wish the Minister of Finance could say something.
 
In the 2006/2007 financial year Uganda registered a GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent, Kenya 6.1 percent and Tanzania 6.2. In this financial year the projections are that Uganda will be at 6.5 percent; Tanzania, 7.3 and Kenya, 7 percent. I do not know. Although the Ugandan economy is smaller than the rest of these other two East African countries, for us to attain a similar rate of economic growth, we need a lot of activity in the economy. I want some explanation on why our economic growth rate is projected to remain at 6.5 percent compared to the rest of our sister countries, which are jumping from around 6.2 in the case of Tanzania and 7 in the case of Kenya.
 
Mr Speaker and honourable members, this business of income tax, taxing people in the bracket of Shs 130,000 I know we want revenue but let us get revenue or let us tax people who have the money. All of us know the expenditure levels. For someone earning Shs 130,000 to be subjected to 30 percent income tax is extremely horrendous. Why cant we increase the price of beer by way of adding an extra Shs 200 or why dont we increase the price of tobacco and spare Ugandans earning Shs 130,000 or Shs 150,000 so that we can raise the threshold to about Shs 200,000?
 
Although the economic growth has been robust for the last two decades, I do not see an increase in the per capita income in Uganda. What is happening to this economic growth rate that does not percolate down to the majority of the poor? It is absolutely correct and the registered economic growth in GDP is discernable. There is a general agreement amongst economists but where is this increase in goods and services in our domestic economy? Where does the Growth Domestic Product go? Why doesnt it have a trickle down effect to the majority poor?
 
I would like to request this House that next financial year, Parliament and government must have a serious partnership of looking at the largest private sector, which is agriculture. Everybody is talking about agriculture. This business of government getting a few theoreticians - you had this document called PMA. It is a good document for a PhD thesis but it is extremely impracticable; I read it three times. When you look for any part of that document that is relevant to any part of this country, you will not see it. So next financial year, let us sit, look at this country and discuss because we know it. What is good for the Bakiga in Kabale may not be good for the former Bukedi region as we used to know it, or for central Buganda. We should discuss a strategy that can ameliorate the conditions of our people who are the majority of Ugandans. Otherwise, this business of lip service is extremely nauseating.
 
We know that more than 70 percent of Ugandans make their living from the agriculture but over the decades we have seen a total decline of the agricultural sector. It is only last financial year that there was a dismal performance of about 1.6 up from a negative. So, we represent the majority of these people but we sit here, raise a few issues and then we go to sleep; not really sleeping in the sense that we go to the bed and sleep, but we just abandon everything.
 
So GDP and agriculture overall: agricultural production, the Gross Domestic Product at factor cost because there is a difference between the factor cost and the market. I do not want to analyse using the market because these are deceptive figures and factor cost has been declining over the years. Let it be the responsibility of all of us next financial year, which is not far; we should all sit and discuss a strategy about how we can - Harry Kasigwa was talking about micro-finance. Even if we give money to people in the rural areas, they must be advised on how to invest this money. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: But I said that some people who made contributions when this debate started should not -(Interjection)- I have the record here. (Laughter)
 
4.37
MR PATRICK AMURIAT (FDC, Kumi County, Kumi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this motion. My name is Amuriat Oboi. I am a Member of Parliament for Kumi County, Eastern Uganda and a nephew of the Karimojong. (Laughter)
 
I am going to restrict myself, in supporting this motion, to a few issues. I am going to dwell much on the road sector and I believe this will lay a foundation for what I will propose tomorrow when we go to the Committee of Supply in as far as the Shs 40 billion that was meant for road maintenance which has now been brought into CHOGM activities for the maintenance and repair of roads in Kampala is concerned. I hope the House will support me when I raise the necessary objections tomorrow.
 
Mr Speaker, sometime last week this House rather hurriedly passed a certain amount of money to the tune of about Shs 152 billion for CHOGM activities. If we had been given opportunity to debate I would probably not have found it necessary to stand up this afternoon to make a contribution. In passing the Shs 152 billion - 153 billion, thank you for the correction - we as Parliament deprived the rest of the country of road maintenance to the tune of 40 billion. That money is now being used in the rehabilitation and maintenance of Kampala roads. What we did to the rest of the country was to deprive 98 roads of the essential service of road maintenance, and as the Minister of Finance observed while presenting the Presidents budget speech, there is a backlog in as far as road maintenance is concerned and this is hurting the economy of this country.
 
THE SPEAKER: The only contradiction that I can see is that you are giving us notice that when we have a Committee of Supply, you will raise an objection. I think the passage of the amount you are complaining about went through the same process of Committee of Supply, and in this committee, anybody is free to object and substantiate and get support when a figure is read.
 
MR AMURIAT: I appreciate your advice, Sir, but I am mindful of the fact that it is possible that tomorrow I will not have enough time to convince these honourable members and so I would prefer to do it today.
 
Some 2,847.5 km of road in this country will be deprived of services. Of these, 27.3 percent of the amount will affect central region roads, 30.8 Eastern region, 25 Western and 16.9 percent for the Northern region. It is very sad to note that some very important roads will not be repaired this year: Wobulenzi-Zirobwe-Gayaza road is an example just like Matuga-Ssemuto will not be maintained. Jinja-Kamuli, which is a paved road and in a very bad condition, will also not be done this year. Fort-Portal-Mpanga, which is paved and was scheduled for rehabilitation, will also not be done because of this shuffling of amounts within the budget. The landing at the Laropi ferry - and that is a very important ferry and I am sure hon. Margaret Baba Diri and my friends from West Nile are listening attentively - will not be maintained just like the Kitgum-Lira road will not be done.
 
I have taken the trouble to read out these roads just to reflect to this House the fact that across the country, we are headed for serious trouble as far as the road sector is concerned. My sources informed me just this afternoon that following the heavy rains and expected heavy rains, the Ministry of Works is confronted with the task - and this is an emergency - of having to repair seven bridges that have critically failed. Where is the money going to come from? I am sure we as Members of Parliament should be the last to apportion blame to the Ministry of Works for the bad roads this coming year.
 
MR REMIGIO ACHIA: Thank you, honourable member, for giving way. The issue of roads particularly in Eastern Uganda is really deplorable. The only road linking Karamoja region to the rest of Uganda through Mbale has collapsed. There is no way to go to Karamoja at the moment except if you have to travel through about eight districts; you leave Kampala and go to Mbale, then to Kumi, Soroti, Katakwi and you end up somewhere in the middle of Kapelebyong and then come down just right down to Mbale to be able to go to Karamoja through difficult, highly water-logged path roads. Instead of taking eight hours to Karamoja, we are now taking about two days.
 
THE SPEAKER: Isnt that what the minister reported this morning?
 
MR REMIGIO ACHIA: I just wanted to emphasis the gravity of the problem we are facing at the moment. Not only that but also a second bridge linking Moroto and Kotido in Lokisha has collapsed and when you go ahead, a road linking Kotido to Abim District is no more. The issue is that serious! The new districts we have created are being cut off. How do we deliver services to the North eastern part of this country?
 
MR AMURIAT: Thank you very much my brother for that very vital information. I would like to add that the roads that are being worked on in Kampala are very old roads. What is happening now is that the kind of works that are taking place are really sort of remedial. They are not bound to last because the core of the problem is not being solved. The sub-grade is not being strengthened as well as the base of the road; they are just working on the surface. I take it that this is cosmetic; it is deceptive and is bound to fail less than one year from CHOGM time. We are going to have potholes and I would like to say this with authority and I stand to be challenged. We are going to have potholes where we are putting a lot of money today.
 
Having dwelt on the matter of roads works, I would now like to address myself to issues of education. Universal Secondary Education is on board, Sir. Ideally on paper, it is a good programme but I have a feeling that we are not adequately prepared to handle this programme. Why am I saying this? When the announcement was made that USE was coming on board, children who scored between four and 24 aggregates -(Laughter)- Honourable minister, I will give you the opportunity.
 
THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION AND SPORTS (Mrs Bitamazire): Thank you honourable member for giving way. I just want to get clarification. I think it was suggested through your Chair that we shall have time to discuss all the details regarding education. It was one of those reports, which should be debated for a day or two or one week. So, I thought we left it at that. We had started to get out all the details and guidelines on this matter and the report was done. I just want to know if we are moving away from that suggestion that you made, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: No, I am not. I said we were going to debate these policy matters after we have finished the Finance Bill and the Appropriations Bill.
 
MR AMURIAT: So, I do not know whether to stop here but I am convinced that this is a matter that was in the Budget Speech of the President and since we are debating a motion pertaining to this, it is appropriate for me to touch on this issue.
 
People who are shouting no should probably be prepared to speak for the people of Kumi because that is precisely what I am doing. The problems of Kumi may be unique to Kumi alone and different from the problems of the other counties of Kiboga and Kibaale. Early this year at the beginning of the term, between 200 and 400 students turned up at different secondary schools in Kumi County. This number was alarming because the schools were unable to handle such large numbers in a class. It is anticipated that an equal number will be turning up to school next year in pursuit of education. The reason I have a feeling that the ministry and government are not prepared is because these secondary schools are lacking in as far as accommodation and classrooms are concerned. Whereas there is emphasis on seed secondary schools, the government seems to have forgotten about the old schools. My appeal to the ministry is for them to pull up their socks to ensure that more classrooms are provided in the USE secondary schools.
 
The school facilitation grant in my district was stopped under the guise that we already had enough classrooms to take up the population that turned up for Universal Primary Education. Whereas this may be true in certain cases, it is not generally true. Besides, primary schools are severally lacking in staff houses. In my village, members of staff or teachers have to ride bicycles several miles to get to school. By the time they get to school, they are exhausted and some of them even begin to sleep in class. I think this is not good for education.
 
Teachers have attempted to pursue further education using their own resources. They have tried to elevate their standards from Grade III to diploma and to degree levels. Unfortunately for them, whereas they spend a lot of money, once they graduate the qualifications that they have achieved are not reflected in the amount of money that they are paid. I would love government to come here with a strong policy that is intended to motivate teachers who may wish to pursue further education, after all the knowledge that they acquire is imparted to the children and as a result Universal Primary Education would improve. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
4.54
MR STEPHEN MUGENI (NRM, Samia-Bugwe County North, Busia): Mr Speaker, I have looked at this book; I have analysed it and I have come with some figures about it. I feel this should be brought to the attention of this House. When you look at this book, the total revenue that we are going to have, according to what is disclosed, is Shs 4.5 trillion. When you look at the expenditure - because if we have some revenue, which is going to come and it is not reflected here, that is a different story. If you look at the total expenditure, it is Shs 5.8 trillion. That means we have a budget deficit and when you translate it into percentage, there is a budget deficit of 25 percent. That is a very big discretion in budgeting terms. If you are given discretion of 25 percent of totals, it is really very big. Unless the Ministry of Finance says that it is going to borrow some money, which is not reflected here, to the tune of about Shs 1.3 trillion in order to fund all these activities, that is when we can say we do not have a deficit. But if the ministry is not borrowing any additional money, then we have a deficit.
 
I want to point out one aspect on the statistics that we are using. I will pick one example, water grants. When you look at the statistics issued by the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics it shows by district the percentage of people that have access to safe water. When you translate those percentages into the physical number of people - you can calculate exactly how many people in each district do not have access to safe water. When you pick the amounts allocated according to the budget and you try to match them, you find a district, which has 45,000 people who do not have access to safe water is getting Shs 1 billion for water grants yet a district, which has 140,000 people who do not have access to safe water, is getting half a billion. The Minister of Finance may have to explain this. I can give you these details; I have already summarised them and if the ministry is interested, I can avail them.
 
I want to draw the attention of this Parliament to those two particular aspects, Mr Speaker, thank you.
 
4.59
MR WILLIAM OKECHO (Independent, West Budama County North, Tororo): Mr Speaker and honourable members, I rise on procedure as per rule 129(5) of our Rules of Procedure, to give a brief to the House on what has been going on for the last few weeks when we have been considering the Budget as the Chair of the Budget Committee.
 
As we move towards the completion of the Budget exercise, permit me to remind the House how far we have moved as Parliament in the budget formulation and approval process and also propose how we should proceed until we pass the Appropriations Bill. The document I am reading was distributed last week and it is now my pleasure to continue reading it, I hope nobody is going to say he has not got a copy.
 
Honourable members, you will recall that the motion by the Minister of Finance that Parliament resolves itself into a Committee of Supply for the consideration and approval of the revised estimates for the financial year 2006/07 and the proposed estimates for the financial year 2007/08 was moved on 14 June 2007. Prior to that on 29 March 2007, the government in compliance with Section 3 of the Budget Act, submitted to Parliament a three-year micro-economic plan for economic and social development, together with the preliminary indicative budgetary estimates for the financial year 2007/08.
 
Consequently the Budget Committee and all sessional committees did consider, discuss, review and scrutinise the indicative allocations contained in the National Budget Framework Paper. At the end of the exercise, the Budget Committee scrutinised the estimates and the reports of the sessional committees and submitted a 64-page report containing parliamentary recommendations on the National Budget Framework Paper to the Rt. Hon. Speaker for onward transmission to the President, in accordance with Section 7(3) of the Budget Act.
 
Accordingly, the Speaker sent the recommendations of Parliament to the President on the 14 May 2007. The Budget Committee made its recommendations on the knowledge that there would be a total budget expenditure of Shs 4,766,000,000,000.
 
On May 17 2007, I presented to the august House the parliamentary recommendations that the Speaker had submitted to the President. Members received both hard and soft copies of these recommendations.
 
On 14 June 2007, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development presented to Parliament the Budget Speech wherein he indicated that there would be more budgetary resources from Shs 4,766,000,000,000 to Shs 5,025,000,000,000. The resource envelope had been increased.
 
On June 26 this same year, this House approved Vote-on-Account to allow government some resources to spend as Parliament scrutinises the Budget and policy statements.
 
On 2 July, Parliament started receiving ministerial policy statements indicating how various government departments and spending agencies intended to spend. That was a bit out of step with the Budget Act because they are supposed to have presented these statements by the 30th of June.
 
In mid July, sessional committees embarked on scrutinising their sectors policy statements. On 14th August, the Budget Committee organised a platform meeting where chairpersons of sessional committees, the Budget Committee and the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development attended. During the meeting, most of the outstanding budgetary issues that had surfaced during the deliberations of the sessional committee were discussed.
 
During the same meeting, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development presented the responses to the recommendations that Parliament had raised on the National Budget Framework Paper. The Minister informed the meeting that government had considered the recommendations and complied with a number of them. It then remained incumbent upon the sessional committees to confirm the submissions of the minister, which hopefully they will be able to report to this House, which they have already done.
 
On 21 August 2007, the Shadow Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, presented to the House the position of the Opposition on the Budget Speech.
 
Meanwhile, the Finance Bill for the financial year 2007/08 has already received its first reading and is now under consideration in the Sessional Committee on Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Their report will be ready for presentation very soon.
 
I would now like to urge the Minister of Finance to Table the Supplementary Appropriations Bill that addresses the supplementary expenditure incurred in the last financial year in order for the House to consider resolving itself into a committee of supply.
 
PROF. LATIGO: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I rose because I thought the honourable chairman was concluding. There was a matter that the hon. Member for Samia Bugwe County North raised and I want to know whether the discrepancy he talked about is probably caused by differences in understanding what the Budget is all about. I want to know if your committee also went through these figures and found discrepancies or did not find any discrepancies. We need to be helped so that we know that each time we pass the Budget we can pass a desire to spend even when what we have budgeted to spend does not match.
 
MS ALASO: Mr Speaker, I need help from the Chairperson of the Budget Committee. You will bear with me because I do not have the document he is reading but I was trying to listen. He seemed to say that he wants the Ministry of Finance to table the supplementary requirements. Is that what you are asking? If that is what the chairman is asking, is that really procedurally okay? We have not yet passed the Budget so where would the supplementary arise from? I really need help.
 
Since the chairperson is wrapping up, you had indicated - of course I made a submission but I have been asking myself a question and I hope that the Budget Chairman, being the technical person helping us through this process, can help me. I have been attending a meeting where I met colleagues from Africa and they asked me, What is happening in Parliament? I talked about the Budget feeling really proud of my Parliament and our contribution. I was asked a question, which kind of caught me off guard: What are the three priority areas for you in this budget process? Somebody from Botswana shot up and said, For us, ours in tourism, secondly mining and thirdly agriculture. I looked around and thought I would call but I apologised because I did not have the answer. Therefore, what are the three priorities for this country in this budget process so that when I go again, as a very nationalistic person, I should be able to defend my country and tell them the three priority areas for Uganda. Thank you.
 
MR OKECHO: Mr Speaker, what the previous speaker is raising is what we reported on; it is what is in the Budget Speech. I do not know whether she has not read the Budget Speech ever since it was submitted or she did not even hear the speech (Interjection)- by the way I have to inform you that it is not for me to remind you about the Budget Speech but I know what it is and I do not think you should question my integrity as to understanding the Budget Speech. (Laughter)
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Mr Speaker, the Chairman Budget Committee, a distinguished economist in this country and an accountant, is withholding relevant information from Members of this House. With his expertise, can he just tell us three areas; forget about the Budget Speech, you should learn to share information with those who need it. (Laughter) Just three areas and you cut the whole story short.
 
MR OKECHO: Okay. Hon. Odonga Otto, we are emphasising definitely five major areas and the Minister of Finance has accepted to elucidate on them. (Laughter)
 
MR SPEAKER: No. No. No. Mr Chairman, if you think a proper answer will be given by the minister, you finish your work and the minister will tell us because it is his Budget.
 
MR OKECHO: Anyway, can I finish what I was going on to? As you can appreciate, the parliamentary engagement in the Budget, which started in April, will ultimately culminate into the passage of the Appropriations Bill.
 
PROF. LATIGO: I rise on a matter of procedure. The Chair of the Budget is a chairman for us all in Parliament. His committee scrutinises the Budget on our behalf. We as Members of Parliament have a right to know whether they have done a good job or not. I asked the chair a question, which did not even originate from me but when the Member raised the matter, I considered it very important. I asked the chair to kindly let us know whether they did the same analysis or there is some misunderstanding from the side of the hon. Member from Samia Bugwe. Is it procedurally right for the chair to completely disregard (Interruption)
 
MR OKECHO: Can I inform you? (Laughter) Leader of the Opposition, what you wanted to know is what I was coming to. Right now each of the members of the Budget Committee has received a document, which we are scrutinising tomorrow to find out exactly whether the figures that we shall be appropriating tomorrow will be matching with the document that the honourable member, who is a member of the committee, was mentioning. We have fixed the meeting for 9 Oclock tomorrow. The Minister of Finance will also come and give us an answer. I think this is adequate for you.
 
MS ALASO: Mr Speaker, I had asked him to shed more light on the supplementary issue, which I had not understood.
 
THE SPEAKER: The supplementary issue is that at the end of the financial year there were supplementaries incurred and these were brought to Parliament. They have to be incorporated in a law; it concerns supplementaries incurred last financial year.
 
MR MUGAMBE: I want clarification from the Chairperson of the Budget Committee. According to rule 147(2) of our Rules of Procedure, on the Budget Committee, it is provided that, Chairpersons of Standing and Sessional Committees shall be Ex-Officio Members of the Budget Committee. It has happened in the past, and he has mentioned in his submission that he will invite chairmen of sessional committees and leave out other members. He has also submitted that he has given copies of the budget to be discussed tomorrow yet standing committee chairpersons have not been given those documents. May I get clarification from the chairperson as to why chairpersons of standing committees were left out?
 
MR OKECHO: The Budget Committee comprises 20 members plus all the chairpersons of the various committees as ex-officio members. I do not see why you would think that you are excluded from this. The documents, which we are talking about, include the draft revenue and expenditure estimates, which each Member of this Parliament has already received in his or her pigeonhole.
 
Secondly, the various reports (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: No. He asked: did you give copies to chairpersons of standing committees?
 
MR OKECHO: Copies of what? (Laughter)
 
MR SPEAKER: He is implying that chairpersons of standing committees are ex-officio members of your committee and he is saying that he has not got a copy of the document you are talking about. Did you give it to all the members of the committee?
 
MR OKECHO: Mr Speaker, there are two documents, which we are talking about. There is the draft estimates document, which we are going to look at tomorrow. Secondly, the draft copies of the Appropriations Bill, which are going to be brought tomorrow by the Ministry of Finance and that is why he is coming to attend this meeting so that we can compare figures and brush out the anomaly.
 
MR SPEAKER: So you are saying that everybody has got (Interruption)
 
MR OKECHO: Yes, everybody will have copies.
 
MR DOMBO: He has answered the question. I am an old member of this House but I am one of the beneficiaries of the recitation of the quotation from our Rules of Procedure. It has been a general practice amongst many of us because of not giving enough time, to imagine that it is only for chairpersons of the sessional committees because usually Budget scrutiny is done by the various sessional committees and it was implied that many times, could be, documents were given and chairpersons of standing committees were not given. Mr Speaker, such omissions are a common practice but it is not done in bad faith. I want to request the Chairperson of the Budget Committee that in case this has been on your side, which is possible, we regularise so that members of the standing committees can participate fully in the Budget process.
 
MR OKECHO: Thank you, I will definitely regularise that one, hon. Dombo. Hon. Alaso was asking about the supplementary Appropriations Bill. It has been answered. So, it is okay.
 
THE SPEAKER: No, I think the question was the difference between expenditure and revenue raised by the Member for Samia Bugwe. That was the question of the Leader of the Opposition because it was raised by the honourable member. Is it true that there is that difference?
 
MR OKECHO: Mr Speaker, I have looked at the draft estimates, the big book he was talking about, which hon. Odongo Otto also actually had here sometime ago, and I did not spot out this (Interruption)  
 
THE SPEAKER: Okay.
 
MR OKECHO: But should it be there, we shall find it out tomorrow. 
 
MR WACHA: Mr Speaker, I want to be educated. I have listened to the Chairperson of the Budget Committees long explanation but I cannot conceptualise, what is the whole statement about? Because in the budget process, where does it fall? In the parliamentary process, what is it supposed to be? Is he winding up the budget process or; what is he doing?
 
MR OKECHO: Mr Speaker, hon. Wacha is credited as being the author of the parliamentary procedure and in that document there is a provision that we have got to look at (Interjection)- I quoted it here earlier (Laughter)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, the position is that when we reach the level of dealing with the motion for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of Supply - first of all the minister must have moved a motion when he read the Budget. Then it is followed by the Finance Minister in the Shadow Cabinet making his statement. And the Chairman of the Budget Committee also guides the House on the procedure that is going to be followed up to the end and what the committees of Parliament have done. Unfortunately when the process started he was not here to make that statement. Therefore, he was making a statement and that is how the procedure should have been. But because we were concluding the debate before I asked the minister, that is why I think he had to give it in arrears.
 
5.24
THE MINISTER OF STATE, WATER (Ms Janat Namuyangu): Mr Speaker and honourable colleagues, I just want to respond to an issue, which has been raised by my honourable colleague, the MP for Samia Bugwe North. He was wondering as to how the water budget is allocated and why people who do not access safe water are not being put into consideration. For purposes of giving affirmative action to districts, which are below the national average, which is 65 percent in the rural areas, the ministry decided that the districts, which are already above 65 retain the amount of money that they got in the last financial year and those that are below, their budgets be increased.
 
I will give an example of Bugiri, which has been below 30 percent. Reason, we have a constituency of hon. Ochieng where you can hardly get ground water but the water engineer continued drilling boreholes there. So we have a number of boreholes, which are non-functional in that area, and that is why the percentage is low. So for such districts we decided that this year they get Shs 910,012,000 -(Interruption)
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: The clarification I want to seek is in this year of 2007 of our Lord, before any single drilling machine is put on any site, they first test whether water is accessible. I just did that in Pader about a month ago. So how come your ministry can engage in such an ambitious exercise without having geologists to test whether the place is infested with rocks? What is your ministry and the engineers doing about this?
 
MS NAMUYANGU: Mr Speaker, I want colleagues to appreciate that when we are talking of rural water, this money is sent to districts as conditional grants. Districts employ the water engineers; it is the districts that tender out this particular process. For us as the centre, we are in charge of urban water; that is where we have our hands on. I can tell you, my dear brother, that I was also moved by this kind of trend. I had to move in with our team of technical people to go and help Bugiri District even in their planning. For such an area, we are now promoting the technology, which is suitable like supplying them with surface water from Lake Victoria -(Interruption)  
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, I come from one of the rural districts and the experience I have from so many districts is that at times the allocation of boreholes is influenced so much by political decisions. I have been to Butaleja District and you come to a situation where the population insists because of the topography, water maybe towards the valley and settlement on the hill. And the population will want a borehole situated nearer to where they are staying. It becomes a big battle when the population decides that, For us we want the borehole here. These things have happened in so many districts where there is a clash between the engineers and the politicians leading to districts losing a lot of money. This is why if we had had the time to discuss our report - we had made a very strong recommendation that the capacity of the ministry to supervise the districts should be enhanced in order to avoid such mistakes that have been happening. But they do happen.
 
THE SPEAKER: I thought that the minister was trying to tell us the budget allocation, how it is being used to address where there is a problem. We were waiting to hear how much money is being allocated to address the problem. That was the purpose.
 
MS NAMUYANGU: Mr Speaker and honourable members as I was saying, those districts that are below 65 percent were allocated more money. For example, I was quoting Bugiri, last financial year they got Shs 700 million, this financial year they are getting Shs 910 million. If you look at a district like Kanungu, because its safe water coverage is above 65 percent, they are getting 328 million and this information is all indicated in our policy document, annex IV where all the districts have been indicated with their budgets.
 
That notwithstanding, we also follow the work plans that are sent from the districts and you are aware that some of the districts apparently have been subdivided. Some of them are just one county and others have different technologies like the dams, which take more money if you compare them to boreholes. Others are running piped water systems. For example if you look at this budget again, Kampala District is not allocated money under the rural water sector project just because the piped water under the National Water and Sewerage Corporation caters for them. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
 
MR OKECHO: Mr Speaker, I wish to end by saying that as we discuss the Budget process and we are about to conclude, it has been mentioned here many times by many people that passing the Budget is not the same thing as monitoring its performance. Therefore, I call upon all the Members to really monitor the performance of this Budget because it has been our own Budget for this Parliament. This Parliament has actually worked through this Budget from its inception up to now.
 
It is important that we monitor it and for that we had actually thought it wise as a committee to propose an allocation of Shs 5 billion to the Parliamentary Commission for this particular exercise. I hope we shall be able to get some allocation of funds from the Parliamentary Commission to be able to monitor. For that matter I also wish to call upon the committees that are responsible for various sectors to prepare their individual committee budgets for purposes of monitoring so that we know how much money we can ask the Parliamentary Commission to avail for this very important exercise. I wish to end here and wish everybody well in the approval of the Budget tomorrow. Thank you very much.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much.
 
5.32
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FINANCE IN CHARGE OF PLANNING (Mr Omwony Ojwok): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Colleagues in this House have given very useful comments, criticism, advice and recommendations. I wish to thank them.
 
THE SPEAKER: Constructive criticism.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Yes, Sir (Laughter)- I am leaving it open because you cannot determine how constructive all the criticism is but I take it that the spirit with which all this criticism has been given has been constructive. Allow me just to give a few of the salient comments.
 
One, there was a very serious issue about late release of funds by the Ministry of Finance. I would like to request this House to bear with the Ministry of Finance on one particular issue related to this, which is that we are actually running a cash budget. The Ministry of Finance cannot get money and simply release it. That money must be, first of all, raised and usually we depend on the Uganda Revenue Authority to avail the money in the course of each month. So, sometimes the delays occur for that reason. It is true for example that with the Electronic Fund Transfer there was a technical problem, which the Minister of Finance quite ably explained; those are technical. But the real substantive issue is when do we receive money, which has been collected for that purpose?
 
One particular statement, which was very serious  (Interruption)
 
PROF. LATIGO: Thank you, honourable minister, for giving way. The example that hon. Otekat raised, I know for example that funds for rural water, road maintenance, health services - a huge component of those funds are not Uganda Revenue funds. They are actually funds given as budget support to the Government of Uganda. They are actually funds that are even ring fenced and they are not supposed to be used for other things. And my only experience in my district is that even activities that ought to be funded from those funds that do not come from URA are still affected by those releases. Can you explain so that the picture is complete?
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: This problem occurs because these funds, which are part of the budget support to the Government of Uganda, have to be processed together with the funds that are actually allocated from the Uganda Revenue Authority. That is the problem. We cannot process them differently otherwise it creates complications. However, I can assure you that we are doing our best to improve on the efficiency of these transfers. I want to particularly say that I was quite astounded by the allegation that officers in the Ministry of Finance deliberately - this is the word, which I picked  send funds late.
 
First of all, I would be very happy if I could get evidence of this deliberate failure to send money in time. Because these funds are not private property; they are not the property of the Ministry of Finance. In fact they are not even just Government of Uganda property; they are public funds. And it is absolutely necessary that the funds flow in order to enable the performance of the government to continue. So, in case colleagues have got evidence to show that there is a deliberate effort to actually stop the flow of funds efficiently, it is necessary that we get that information so that we can take the necessary, corrective measures.
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the desire of the Minister to improve but specifically I want to refer him to a statement recently made by the Minister of Finance and what the intention of this new system of payment intended to cure. The minister clearly insinuated in his own report - the Minister of Finance  that there have been  that this new system intends to cure the delays that have been made at times by the ministry officials hiding cheques. You read that statement by the Minister of Finance, it is very categorical and it provided that information. These are some of the delays that this technical system is supposed to cure.
 
It is unfortunate but most important is what time do they allow the districts, after sending the money late, to complete the government programmes that have been provided? That is the most important thing. Because once they send the money late, the officials follow it to say, The financial year has ended and it has a deadline beyond which certain things must happen. How do we incorporate the delays, which are not deliberate but which occur with the utilisation of the funds by the district, if you can give a way forward?
 
MR BUKENI: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I have been working in local governments for some time and it is true that money to local governments comes late, including funds which do not come from local revenue, as it has been said. This goes to the extent that this money is even given during the last week of the financial year and the following week a draft has to be purchased and money is returned to the centre. It makes life very difficult for the local councils because of the system that they use; they cannot commit themselves to have work done because the money is not there. When the money goes, they are supposed to refund it but at the same time, the financial year has come to an end.
 
Even when an accounting officer from a local government writes to the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury seeking permission, this permission is not forthcoming. And the only thing to do is to return the money. These are funds that are not locally collected but they were released late. That is the problem that the minister should ask Parliament and the leaders of this country to help him solve in the ministry so that we can perform better. Other than asking for evidence - this evidence is available - the minister can go to the ministry and find out right from the financial year 2001 when they last released money to the districts.
 
THE SPEAKER: No, I think we all agree that there have been delays in remitting money and, therefore, solutions should be found. Money should be remitted in time so that people are not disappointed because money has been sent on time.
 
MR TINDAMANYIRE: Mr Speaker, he wanted evidence and I have the evidence.
 
THE SPEAKER: Your evidence has to be adduced. But we all agree that there is a delay and this has caused a problem so what we need is a solution so that money is sent on time and people do not face that problem.
 
PROF. LATIGO: I am seeking just one clarification because according to the story, funds get delayed. They are only released when the financial year ends and then they follow up the funds to come back very fast. When these monies come back, where do they go? How do we account for how much money comes back? Can the minister tell us what happens and should we not somewhere make a provision where monies returned every financial year; can we have their accountability tabled and declared so that we can go back to our districts and say, What has been presented says this but they never returned money but you said you returned money? We should follow it up because it is very important. Mr Minister, is there any process that can allow us to understand what happens when the money comes back; and its accountability?
 
MR OKECHO: Can I remind the House that we recommended during our presentation of the National Budget Framework Paper report that any monies, which are returned or which are not utilised because of late release and so forth, should be declared to this House? When we met the Minister of Finance late last month, he promised, actually together with his Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury, that by 30th of September we shall receive this information and see what to do with that money. That is what we were told in our committee and there should be a report by the Auditor-General on that same money as well.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Right Mr Speaker, I think that matter can be put on hold. We can now proceed to the next - it is temporary because the report is going to come and we shall have another opportunity to look at those figures.
 
THE SPEAKER: No, we do not need the report. If the money can be sent in time, the report is not necessary. What you have to do is to send the money on time so that it is not returned and we do not receive reports.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: I fully agree. I have already made my commitment that we are working and will work even harder to ensure that these funds are sent on time.
 
PROF. LATIGO: Mr Speaker, the question is not about money being sent on time because our laws are very clear. If at the end of a financial year - even if the money was sent ten months before - you have not spent that money, you must return it. That is the money we are talking about. This is beyond sending on time; money gets returned because it has not been spent and the law requires those to whom the money has been sent to return the money. What happens to that money?
 
MR AMURIAT: Mr Speaker, we are concluding the budget process. I want to find out from the minister - because this money is returned and the figures are known - whether this money is included in this years Budget and if it is not, where is it going to surface from? Will it be visible in this years Budget? It is necessary for this House to know that so that if there are any leakages we can be able to prescribe solutions for those leakages.
 
MS ALASO: Sir, the question of this returned money has been on this Floor every financial year. The only thing that is consistent is that you do not get a solid commitment from Finance to stop the process either of delays or ensuring that they make an administrative arrangement thereafter to ensure that those local governments that return the money are given ample time. When I listen to the honourable minister coming onto the podium and saying that he is now going to ensure that the money goes on time, I can promise that the money will still be sent late. Out of experience, five years down the road, it has happened every year, religiously.
 
What I would like to hear is the commitment, which I think can come from him to us; for the purposes of this House let him say that he will ensure that if funds are sent late, he will at least make administrative arrangements for those monies to be used. It is stunning that the Ministry of Finance exercises such zeal to ensure that one week after the money is released, it is returned, but there is no equivalent amount of zeal to ensure that arrangements are made to help the local governments that lost out to make use of that money. Is that commitment?
 
We would be happy to hear the honourable minister say here for the record of this House so that when he delays in the next financial year - because I can promise he is going to delay - we will take him on his word that, You promised to ensure that the funds that are submitted late will be given ample room. But he is avoiding making that statement on behalf of his ministry. I would like it to be stated and then they will follow up from there.
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable member for your information, in the report of the Committee on Finance on page 6, there is the last paragraph to that effect. Its heading is: Unspent balances: the committee recommends that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development always declares unspent balances, which should be reflected as part of available resources for the next Budget.
 
It was also recommended that the Auditor-General conduct a special audit of these funds for the past five financial years. The unspent balances are returned, receipted and banked on the Consolidated Fund account. The details of transfer of balance to the Consolidated Fund are given on page 7. 
 
They give financial year 2003/04, central government, Shs 5,980, et cetera, and Local Government was Shs 9,701 et cetera; and 2004/05 it was Shs 6.6 billion from central government and Shs 1.3 billion from local government. So these details are there and the money was banked and receipted on the Consolidated Fund.
 
PROF. LATIGO: Because of the war, in 2004/05 alone Kitgum District alone returned I think a billion plus, and what is receipted for that financial year is Shs 1 billion. And that tells you that there is a big problem. So we are now going to follow up that matter on a very serious basis. In fact at some stage when the Budget debates are over, we would request that Parliament puts a select committee, because there is something that is fishy about these monies that come back.
 
MR DOMBO: Mr Speaker, I do not think that there is anything that requires a select committee. We have the relevant committees of Parliament: we have the Committee on Local Government and Public Service. They have even been conducting some selective inspection of how government programmes are implemented. But now that it is becoming an issue, we can demand the Committee on Local Government, just by a circular to all district chairpersons, we would get all the reports from the various districts and then all the amount of money would be reported to Parliament. Then we would cross check these figures with in the Ministry of Finance.
 
THE SPEAKER: If you have any doubt about what happened to this money, we should ask the Auditor-General because a committee of Parliament cannot do the auditing. We should give him an assignment to audit these funds and give us a report over which we  but not us to audit.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Finance definitely accepts the recommendation of the committee, because this recommendation is going to help us put to rest the speculations, the rumours and all sorts of innuendos that are involved. Let us get to the bottom of this matter and then we shall be able to move together.
 
Then there is this very important point that was brought in by hon. Kasigwa, and this is the question of the PEAP, which is related to the MTEF, which is also related to the whole issue of how we should prioritise. I believe that the two sides of this House are convinced  this is now my reply from the Ministry of Finance, that there is room for us to improve on the way we plan for our resources, and the time frame. In other wards, instead of a three-year arrangement, we can extend it to a longer term, preferably five years, and in that process try to realign our priorities, instead of trying to put out fires all the time. There is no need for us to continue dealing with fires or emergencies. That is why I promised yesterday that we are already on course to practice this.
 
I want to elaborate further. The current PEAP is coming to an end next financial year. The Ministry of Finance has already started a process of reviewing that PEAP. We do not want to wait for the PEAP to come to an end when we have not yet reviewed it. There is a committee in place, which is reviewing the performance of that PEAP. In the process of that review we shall look at how it has performed, the processes it has curried out; how has it affected budgeting; how it affects the actual implementation, not just of the financial aspect of the Budget, but even on the ground in terms of output and outcome.
 
The same review will look at the question of the priorities; how do we prioritise on an annual basis? We are saying that if we continue on the same basis that I suggested yesterday of working out a five-year national development plan, which is based on participation of both sides of the House, and indeed of all the sectors of the society, including the local governments, then we are going to find ourselves not continually quarrelling about how the priorities are being made. So, this is what we are trying to do and I thank our colleague for bringing this issue out, because it is in line with what we are already doing.
 
MR KASIGWA: Thank you honourable minister for giving way. The simple clarification that I what from you is: what is that composition of that committee that you have set up to review the PEAP?
 
MS ALASO: And further clarification: what happened to the National Planning Authority - now that you are setting up some sub-committee  what happened to their mandate?
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: In fact all those questions are completely relevant. I am happy to inform you that the National Planning Authority is at the centre of this process. However, they are working together with the different departments within the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. They are working together with the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the Population Secretariat, and the Economic Policy Research Centre to bring in the economic theoreticians and experts. But this is only the beginning. The committee I am talking about is only at the start of the process. Once we have received the initial report of this committee  the purpose is to expand it to make sure that every sector of the economy, and the sectoral committees, both of Cabinet and of Parliament, are brought on board and we expand it step by step.
 
PROF. LATIGO: Honourable minister, you talked about the PEAP review. Some time ago I used to be a member of the Uganda National Perspective Studies Group that developed the Uganda Vision 2025. I was the agricultural sector expert together with my colleague, hon. Mary Mugyenyi, who was the gender expert. All I know from reading the PEAP documents at that time is that PEAP was more or less a long-term framework document for planning, and the PEAP goals rest in 2017. What then happens is that the PEAP review that has been taking place is like the NAADS review and the PMA review, where if we use the MTEF timeframe, we sit and look at what has been done. And while you agree with our colleagues, and use that as an example, I see a discrepancy in what you are talking about.
 
I agree that the five-year development plan would be good. But Kenya is now entrenching their long-term vision; Rwanda has also done that and all the countries that developed did that. Our Vision 2025 was overtaken by events. So is this PEAP review the routine PEAP review that comes periodically, or you are saying that the PEAP review as a development framework pegged on 2017 is now being subject to that time review and to the question as to whether it should still be the framework for planning?
 
I also know, and the late hon. Okulo-Epak was part of the debate, that when I was in Uganda Vision 2025, we had the Ministry of Planning separate from the Ministry of Finance. We were actually in Uganda House, and Finance was in Finance House. There was a very deliberate effort to ensure that the 2025 planning framework was killed. There was also a very deliberate effort to ensure that the National Planning Authority does not come into existence, by the Ministry of Finance. So, can you assure us that that struggle against the National Planning Authority and the planning framework, which is not supply based and it is the ideology that drives Finance that is why they are talking about expenditure framework and not mentioning development framework; can you assure us that those struggles that I experienced when I was still involved with Finance have ended and that what you are talking about is the real beginning of something that we can usefully participate in?
 
MR OKUPA: Honourable minister, you did mention that the National Planning Authority is at the centre of the committee that is reviewing the PEAP? But yesterday the Committee on Finance in their submission informed this House that for the last four years the National Planning Authority has had no directors, their terms expired and new ones have not yet been appointed. So how can they be at the centre if they are disabled to that level and when are you appointing these other four directors for the National Planning Authority?
 
MRS RWAKIMARI: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am happy to hear that the PEAP is being reviewed. I would like to ask the minister to advise the committee. He has mentioned that the new PEAP should focus on the achievements of the MDGs, otherwise, if we continue planning without putting into consideration the importance of MDGS, we shall end up nowhere. And I wish the Minister of Finance would especially focus on the issues of maternal health and infant mortality. We cannot continue talking about development if our mothers and children continue to die. We shall have nobody to work in the agricultural sector and on the roads. Therefore, I want to inform the minister that unless these issues are seriously considered, the next Budget may be hard to pass. Thank you.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: I very sincerely thank colleagues  I will never stop thanking because it is in our culture that you thank somebody for good work and advice. Three important sets of issues have been raised and I would like to briefly explain each of them:
 
First, what is going to be the relationship between the current PEAP review and the development and implementation of our national vision? This is a very critical question. I am happy to report to this House, and I wish I had been give information earlier; I would have laid it on the Table. But it is true that Cabinet has already come out with the main outline of the vision that this country should follow, but it is still subject to further discussion. But more importantly, in the directive that was given the following were provided and this is what we have given the committee:
 
One, this PEAP review should not be like the usual PEAP reviews that have been done before. One of its top outcomes must be the five-year development plan.
 
Secondly, the five-year development plan should be developed into three to ten-year development plans, in other words, a perspective plan of at least thirty years. Therefore, you can see from this directive that we are on the same wavelength on what this PEAP review should achieve. I would only ask Members to give us maximum support to ensure that this output is realised.
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable minister, what you would do at this point is to make a comprehensive statement, which you would come and present to the House so that we are accorded an opportunity to debate the merits and demerits of the proposal.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I embrace it with open arms, and it will be available very soon.
 
There was another issue on the National Planning Authority (NPA). In order to achieve the new orientation, steps have already been taken to re-align the National Planning Authority and to incapacitate it (Laughter)- sorry to enhance its capacity; it will also come out in the report. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Honourable members, the motion is that we resolve ourselves into a Committee of Supply. I put the question.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
MS ALASO: Mr Speaker, I asked a question from which I really hoped to learn: what are the priorities of this country as we pass the Budget? I would really like to be helped by the Minister of Finance.
 
MR OMWONY OJWOK: Mr Speaker, the Committee on the Budget has come out with recommendations to government on this matter  I know them but I just want to give you that information that we are together with the committee on that matter:
 
1) Investments in energy and ICT.
 
2) Development and maintenance of transportation infrastructure.
 
3) Science, technology and industrial development.
 
4) Rural development  and I think this is where the issue agriculture comes in.
 
I think we can stop there for the time being. Thank you.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you. Honourable members, tomorrow we shall start the Committee of Supply. Because of the corrigenda we received, we will meet at 11 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. to enable those preparing the necessary documents to prepare them. Thank you very much.
 
(The House rose at 6.09 p.m., and adjourned until Wednesday, 05 September 2007 at 11.00 a.m.)
 
 
 

 


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