Hoima Councillors Angered By District Budget Cuts

1576 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Hoima councillors are criticizing a decision to cut the district budget. The district on Friday laid its 2013/2014 financial year budget before council. The budget estimates indicate a reduction from last financial year’s 19 billion shillings to 18 billion shillings.

Hoima councillors are criticizing a decision to cut the district budget.
 
The district on Friday laid its 2013/2014 financial year budget before council. The budget estimates indicate a reduction from last financial year’s 19 billion shillings to 18 billion shillings.
 
Joab Kunihira, the secretary for Finance and Planning, who presented the budget to the district council, attributed the budget cuts to the low local revenue generation due to increased tax evasion and the low funding by central government.
 
Kunihira explained that because of the low revenue, funding for some sectors has been reduced while the district will also not undertake some major development projects in the new financial year. He did not however, elaborate on which sectors and projects to be affected.
 
However, councillors have criticized the decision saying it will frustrate service delivery to the communities they represent.
 
Richard Katusiime, the district councillor for Kigorobya town council wonders how a district naturally endowed like Hoima would suffer revenue constraints. Katusiime instead accused the district technical team of doing little to collect taxes on fish transportation and that on food produce, yet council passed them last year.
 
//Cue in: “There are gaps…
Cue out: …raise income of council.”//
 
Godfrey Komakech, the Buseruka sub county councilor, says budget cuts are not a solution to council’s revenue problems. Komakech says council should focus on improving local revenue collection, other than cutting the budget.
 
//Cue in: “Hoima district …
Cue out… to their pockets.”//  
 
Although the politicians blame the technical team for low revenue generation, Hoima District Chief Administrative Officer George Ntulume could not readily give a stand on the matter.
 
In the ending financial year, Hoima district did not collect even half of the projected tax revenue. Finance records indicate that out of the target of 586 million shillings, the district only realized 204 million shillings in tax collection.