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Uganda Boosts Next Year's Budget

FILE: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni speaks at the State House in Nairobi on April 8, 2022

KAMPALA - Uganda's parliament has approved the government's plan to raise spending by 10% to 52.73 trillion shillings ($14 billion) in the 2023/24 fiscal year, the Finance Ministry said.

On Thursday, parliament approved proposed overall spending for that fiscal year, the Finance Ministry said on Twitter.

The Finance Ministry did not say how the funds would be allocated, but in recent years the energy, transport, and works and health ministries have taken the lion's share of the resources.

The government set spending for the current fiscal year at 48.1 trillion shillings.

Ugandan law requires lawmakers to approve the government's spending plans for a specific fiscal year before they are officially laid out in a budget speech. The fiscal year runs July-June.

The finance minister is set to present the 2023/24 budget to parliament early next month.

Opposition lawmakers have accused the government of heavily relying on borrowing to pay for spending.

"Borrowing has significantly increased over the years, thence gradually increasing the cost of credit. This has undermined the private sector whereby the acquisition of credit has become expensive," Mathias Mpuuga, official leader of the opposition in parliament, said on Twitter as part of their response to the proposed spending.

The government defended its borrowing, saying it was necessary for infrastructure and other development projects.

This year, the finance ministry said it will not do any external borrowing in 2023/24 to ease debt-servicing pressures.