The government has tabled a supplementary expenditure budget of Shs 770.2 billion to facilitate the procurement of two Bombardier planes for the revival of the national flag carrier, Uganda Airlines. Part of the money will also be used to cover compensation Buganda kingdom, the completion of Uganda Martyrs Shrine and facilitation of Atiak sugar factory, among others.
The request was tabled before parliament's Budget committee on Wednesday by state minister for Planning David Bahati. The supplementary budget covers Shs 280 billion to secure the delivery of two Bombardier planes from Canada, Shs 380 billion to cater for classified expenditures under the ministry of Defence and Shs 3 billion billion to compensate for Buganda kingdom for land.
The government also requires an additional Shs 10.3 billion to purchase Okello House and Shs 10.8 billion for the construction of a centre of excellence in Pediatric Surgery in Entebbe and others.
The others are Shs 28 billion for electric sub-stations for the Namanve Industrial Park, Shs 12 billion for completion of Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Shs 3.4 billion to cater for street children, Shs 10 billion to purchase planting materials for Atiak sugar factory and Shs 2 billion to facilitate the Commission of Inquiry on Land Matters and others.
A further Shs 20 billion is for wage supplementary, Shs 1.5 billion for Steel and Tube factory grading, Shs 3 billion for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccines, Shs 5 billion for representation of Uganda in the cases against Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the termination of the Rift Valley Railways concession and Shs 1.09 billion for external funding under Financial Management and Accountability Programme (FINMAP) from EU contingency towards closure activities of FINMAP III.
Bahati appealed to the Budget committee to approve the additional funding specifically speaking about the Shs 280 billion required to facilitate the delivery of two planes within the next 10 days so that the airline can immediately start operations.
Last year, the government placed a firm order worth $190 million (about Shs 711 billion) for four CRJ 900 planes from Bombardier, a Canadian manufacturer for regional airliners. A video of a test flight for one of the jets recently excited Ugandans when it was posted on YouTube and immediately went viral.
Bahati says the source of funds for the payment of the planes is the expected proceeds from the MTN license renewal and the capital gains tax from the oil and gas sector. Parliament approved a total budget of Shs 32.7 trillion for the current financial year 2018/2019.