HomeSocialMbarara City earmarks Shs45.4 budget for FY 2024/25

Mbarara City earmarks Shs45.4 budget for FY 2024/25

Joshua Nahamya

MBARARA – Mbarara City intends to spend Shs 44.4 billion during the financial year [FY] 2024/25, which is slightly higher than Shs 39.3 bln earmarked in the current FY 2023/24.

According to Ronald Taremwa Bamuhaira, Secretary for Finance and Administration, the city’s budget is a statement of the entire revenues both local and government transfers that they expect to collect over the next financial year.

He said that “this time around, Mbarara city’s resource envelope will comprise locally raised revenues of Shs 10.1bln which accounts to 22.3 percent and central government transfers of 35.3 bln (77.7%) of the total budget”.

“Our local revenue base in the next financial year is projected to account for 22.3% of our total budget and the remaining 77.7% will come from the central government coffers. I beg to move that this honourable house resolves itself into a committee of supply for consideration and approval of proposals for the estimates of revenue and expenditure FY 2024/25” Taremwa explained

This is by Section 77(6) of the Local Government Act, 1997 and the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2015 that the Chairperson of a Local Government Council shall cause to be prepared and laid before the council, estimates of revenue and expenditure of the council for the coming financial year.

“Under section 77(7), the council shall not later than 31st day of May, consider and approve the budget and work plans of the council,” Taremwa said

According to Taremwa, Mbarara city’s budget is consolidated within the national strategy for this year’s budget which focuses on increasing average household incomes and improving the quality of life of Ugandans through sustainable industrialization for inclusive growth, regional equity, employment, and sustainable wealth creation for all.

“The budget for the financial year 2024/25 has been formulated to facilitate the implementation of the city development plan through promotion of production, productivity, investment, and value addition while sustaining investments in infrastructure and critical social services as well as improving overall public service delivery.” He explained

The upcoming budget prioritizes health and education and management services like administration, human resources, and records management. Roads and engineering were allocated Shs Roads and Engineering department Shs 4bln despite the ongoing infrastructural developments taking shape in the new city under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development [USMID] program.

The education department was allocated Shs 21.5bln, management support services Shs 5.6bln, the health department Shs 4.7bln, natural resource management Shs 1.1bln, trade industry and local economic development Shs 286mln, finance and accounting Shs 1.1bln, statutory bodies Shs 1bln, production department Shs 339mln, community-based services department Shs 269mln, planning department Shs 261mln, internal audit Shs 91mln among others.

Taremwa asked the public to cooperate with the city council together with the technocrats to ensure that the projections made are realized to implement service delivery in the city.

”I urge you to embrace the spirit of togetherness to see that all the projects and services are implemented for the betterment of Mbarara city.” He said

Meanwhile, Mbarara city has also introduced a new tax on city developers to enhance local revenue collection.

According to Assy Abirebe Tumwesigire, Town clerk of Mbarara City, the new tax will be lawfully implemented under section 33(1) of the physical planning act, 2010 which requires that development permission be obtained from a physical planning committee before carrying out any development.

“All intending developers will apply for the development permission using a modified form and successful applicants shall obtain a development permission certificate which will be a modification form in turn be required by the building control committee on submission of application for a building permit” Tumwesigire explained

Under this new tax, commercial and industrial permits will be charged Shs 170,000 while other land use developments like residential, institutional, and civic permits will pay Shs 150,000.

“Revenue collection is a critical element in the financing of the provision of services to the people of Mbarara city. And the following fees have been proposed to be paid before an intending developer obtains a development permission certificate for us to collect enough revenue for qualitative service delivery and developments.” Tumwesigire said

Benon Kajubi, one of the estate developers in Mbarara welcomed the new tax, saying that it will deter illegal land developers and will also enforce a city order in Mbarara town.

“Actually this tax should have come as early as the city naming because when you look around, illegal structures are coming up, people are building and emptying in River Rwizi, others are blocking the drainage system. So I don’t think this tax is alarming but I think it will help the physical planners to catch up with people who are developing our city into a slum which we all don’t want” Kajubi explained

Lt Col. James Mwesigye, resident city commissioner of Mbarara City, challenged the people of Mbarara to always hold their leaders accountable, as one way of blocking them from taking any chance of corruption which he says cripples service delivery.

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