Budget speech read, no tax increments

The minister of finance Maria Kiwanuka has announced tax cuts on some household items mainly sugar and kerosene.

Excise duty on kerosene has been abolished while that on sugar has been cut by 50% in a move expected to reduce the prices of sugar.

She has also announced VAT tax exempts on solar energy supply and ambulances, to promote increase access. In a bid to improve agriculture hoes have been exempt from taxes as a decision taken by all EAC partner states.

The minister also listed elaborate measures aimed at improving agriculture production to check the current high food prices, with Shs133 billion allocated to NAADS and Shs 5 billion set aside for irrigation.

To check unemployment Shs 44 billion has been set aside for job creation, with loan facilitates made available for youth investment schemes.

Infrastructural development including roads and railway featured prominently in the budget with Shs 43 billion set aside for this task.

Kiwanuka also proposes 30% cuts on the budget for allowances, travel inland and abroad, workshops and seminars, fuel and vehicle maintenance, printing and stationary, welfare and entertainment, books, periodicals and newspapers, special meals and the purchase of furniture for selected Ministries and Agencies.

The priorities for the next financial year include tackling inflation, unemployment, developing infrastructure and improving social services delivery.

Speaking shortly after the budget speech was read, President Museveni castigated the opposition for walking out yesterday, as he read the State of the Nation Address.

Opposition MPs walked out on him as he spoke on corruption, accusing him of lacking the commitment to tackle the vice.

Museveni urged the MPs to live up to the mandate entrusted to them by the voters, adding that they would not achieve much through walking out on major discussions.