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Minister Kiwanuka's Key Sectors

Education sector takes the largest share of the 2012/2013 budget with close to one thousand seven hundred billion shillings allocated to it in the coming financial year. Part of the money will see primary teachers’ salaries increased.
Education sector takes the largest share of the 2012/2013 budget with close to one thousand seven hundred billion shillings allocated to it in the coming financial year. Part of the money will see primary teachers’ salaries increased.

Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka says the allocation amounts to 17 percent of the national budget.

In the 2011/2012 financial year, the education sector was allocated 1, 418 billion shillings.

Kiwanuka, in her second budget speech as minister of finance, is proposing to spend over 11.15 trillion shillings in up from 9.7 trillion in the ending financial year.

According to the minister, 75 percent of the budget will be financed locally with the remaining 25 percent funded by the donors.

The Works and Transport sector has remained one of Kiwanuka’s priorities with over 1,650 billion shillings. This is also an increase from 1,300 billion shillings allocated in the 2011/2012 financial year.

The funding according to Kiwanuka will enable construction of over 1000 kilometers of roads across the country. Some of the earmarked roads include Fort-Portal-Bundibugyo, Busega-Masaka, Nyakahita-Kazo-Kamwenge, Kawempe-Kafu, Malaba/Busia-Bugiri and Tororo-Mbale-Soroti.

Others include Mbarara-Katuna, Jinja-Kamuli, Mbarara-Kikagati-Murongo Bridge and Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya.

Kiwanuka said the government also plans to commence construction of new roads which include, Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway, Muyembe-Nakapiripirit-Moroto-Kotido, construction of Mbarara Bypass, Upgrading of Kamwenge-Fort Portal and Gulu-Atiak-Nimule.

The minister has also hinted on the full commissioning of 250MWBujagali Hydro Power Project and the commencement on the construction of 600 MW Karuma Hydro Power project among others.

In the Agricultural Sector, Kiwanuka said direct and indirect allocations in the coming financial years will amount to over 585 billion shillings.

She said government through the zoning strategy plans to concentrate on particular crops in specific zones to enable farmers produce sufficient quantities that support domestic and regional trade.  

 

Government also plans to provide improved seed and farm inputs and implements to increase production of commodities like maize, beans, and coffee among others.

 

The health sector has also been identified as one of the priorities with planned facelift of several hospitals including Mulago National Referral hospital. Other hospitals to be renovated include Kabale, Hoima and Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospitals.

 

Kiwanuka also plans to have an additional100,000 people living with HIV/AIDS enrolled on Anti-Retroviral Treatment as well as elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDs.

 

Taxes

The minister, in a surprise move increased the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax threshold from 130, 000 shillings to 235, 000 shillings per month. The increase means workers earning between 130,000 to 235,000 shillings will not pay tax.

Kiwanuka has slapped an increase in the excise duty on spirits from locally made raw materials from 45% to 60%. A ten percent exercise duty has also been imposed on cosmetics and perfumes.

The flourishing gambling games like sports betting will now have to pay Value Added Tax. They had been VAT exempted but now Kiwanuka says they face between 15 to 20 percent tax.

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