Ugandans must prepare for tougher economic times to come - Finance ministry

The Ministry of Finance says rising commodity prices are not about to reduce, so Ugandans must prepare for even worse times to come.

Prices of commodities have risen

Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija added that the government will not provide any subsidies nor shall it respond to demands for a minimum wage or reduce taxes as an elixir to cure the dire economic straits the country finds itself in.

“Removing taxes is not a solution. The solution lies in production for people to get more income. We have put so much in the system, use the money to generate more income for yourself,” Kasaija said.

The minister made these somewhat grim remarks while launching the Budget Month for Financial Year 2022/23 at the Uganda Media Centre.

Kasaija said Ugandans must gird their loins for tough times ahead because government will not have money if such measures as the reduction of taxes or distribution of subsidies are adhered to.

Kasaija’s comments are made in the context of Ugandans increasingly demanding that government employ more Keynesian policies by intervening in the marketplace to stave off this looming economic crisis.

Opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye attempted to protest the high prices of commodities by walking to the city centre, but police arrested him and confined him to his Kasangati home.

“Striking is not solving the problem! The needs of this country are tremendous,” Kasaija said.

He then revealed that the budget will rest on three broad objectives under the theme of “Full monetisation of the Ugandan Economy Through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialisation, Expanding and Broadening services and Digital Transformation and Market Access.”

Permanent Secretary to the ministry of finance and Secretary to the Treasury, Ramathan Ggoobi, said that the budget will be pro-people.

The budget is pro-poor because the largest share of the budget is going into human capital development. There are no new taxes and we haven’t increased them. We want to make taxes more affordable to pay,” Ggoobi said.

As tough economic times get worse, Ugandans eagerly await to enjoy the fruits of such a budget.

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