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Kasaija: We Need Constitutional Land Amendment Bill

While speaking at the National Budget Conference and Economic Growth Forum for financial year 2019/20 at Serena Hotel on Thursday, Kasaija argued that quickening land acquisition process for execution of public projects is critical for the countrys economic transformation.
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija

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The Minister for Finance, Matia Kasaija has said government needs the constitutional amendment on acquisition of land for public infrastructure if they are to improve on execution of projects.

Kasaija comment comes a week after the Constitution Amendment Bill No. 2 of 2017 was withdrawn from parliament last week. The contentious bill sought to give government absolute power to acquire land for development without first compensating the owners.

Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana last week when withdrawing the bill said government will carry out extensive consultations on the matter.

But, Kasaija speaking at the National Budget Conference and Economic Growth Forum for financial year 2019/20 at Serena Hotel on Thursday argued that quickening land acquisition process for execution of public projects is critical for the country's economic transformation.

Kasaija noted that some politicians have been castigating him for his stance on the land acquisition amendment.

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Kasaija's hint is an indication that government could re-table the bill anytime.

Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda who was the guest of honour at the event also hinted on quick execution of public projects as a challenge that government must solve.

Kasaija announced that the budget priority in the 2019/20 financial year will focus on four critical sectors such as agriculture and agro industrialisation, oil-gas and minerals, tourism development and promoting trade. 

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According to Kasaija, for Uganda to achieve inclusive growth, government must focus on the agriculture sector.

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Kasaija said rationalization of public administration to reduce duplication and costs will be a key target in the coming financial year.

Though cabinet decision to merge and eliminate a number of state agencies and authorities announced early this week caused disquiet among public servants, he said the initiative will be fast-tracked.

Government projects to save nearly one trillion shilling from merging and elimination of certain authorities. Kasaija said the money will be earmarked for enhancement of public servant's salaries to boost morale.

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