Government is set to submit to Parliament a supplementary budget request of Shs600 billion to mitigate the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19.  

Cabinet approved the supplementary expenditure of which Shs371.7 Billion will finance COVID-19 interventions under various institutions in first quarter of the new financial year while Shs228.3 Billion will cater for contingencies.
The Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Patrick Ocailap, revealed that the money will be obtained through budget cuts from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). 

“The budget was passed before lockdown. The lockdown was in June, but the budget was passed in May. We didn’t know that this [lockdown and catastrophic effects of Covid-19] was coming,” Mr Ocailap said.

He said of the Shs600 billion emergency fund, the health sector will receive Shs206 billion to increase Covid-19 fight while Shs50 billion will go to security to enforce Covid-19 prevention measures and conduct related activities.

The deputy Finance boss also said Shs53.5 billion will be used for Covid-19 relief for vulnerable people who have been adversely affected by the second lockdown. Local governments (Shs53.7b), ICT (8.1b) and Shs228.3b will be reserved as a contingency fund.

Finance ministry information also indicates that the biggest chunk of money will go to the Ministry of Health (Shs197b), Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (Shs53.5b), Uganda Police Force (Shs19b) and Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (Shs10b).

Other monies will go to the Office of the President (Shs6.9b), 14 regional referral hospitals (Shs575m each), local governments (Shs52b) and Uganda Prisons Services (Shs6.2b).

What the law says

Section 25 of the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Act (2015) states that:

(1)    The total supplementary expenditure that requires additional resources over and above what is approved by Parliament, shall not exceed 3% of the total approved budget for that financial year, without approval of Parliament.

(2)  Where funds are expended under subsection (1), supplementary estimates showing the sums spent shall be laid before Parliament within four months after the money is spent.