Civil servants, with the exception of those working in security departments, should not expect any kind of salary raise this financial year, the government has said.

The announcement by the State minister for Finance, Mr Matia Kasaja, comes at a time when teachers, medical workers and Makerere University lecturers that form the bulk of government employees are demanding 100 per cent salary increment.

It also comes amid an increasing cost of living, compounded by growing inflation, which has just recently started easing.

“Let me assure you, any need that arises after the budget has been read will not be met except that of security (that will be done) inform of supplementary budget when there is outbreak of war or any other security threats,” Mr Kasaja said.

The minister in-charge of Planning said government is walking its talk of tightening fiscal discipline for this financial year unlike in the past when there was lack of budget discipline.

The government this week announced budget cuts of ministries and other departments as it scrambled to avert a crisis when private power generators threatened to plunge the country into darkness over hundreds of billions of shillings in unpaid arrears.

Tightening fiscal policy
A detailed break-down of how badly specific ministries were affected remain scanty, but Finance Ministry spokesperson Jim Mugunga said it had cut recurrent expenditures, targeting areas such as travel and procurement of vehicles, among others.

Responding to questions raised by lecturers from Makerere University and teachers from various schools during the World Bank public lecture on governance at Statistics House on Thursday, Mr Kasaja said the demand for salary increment by sections of government workers came after the budget has been prepared and presented and as such can only be catered for next financial year.

President’s promise stands
The minister, however, reaffirmed President Museveni’s promise to the teachers that in the forthcoming budget for financial 2012/13 Shs290 billion will be allocated to cater for the increment in lecturers and teachers salaries.

“This is going to happen because it is being planned for and it will be included in the budget that we are going start preparing in the next few months,” Mr Kasaja said.
From Uganda’ development partner point of view, the World Bank advises government to plan better basing on economic outlook nationally and globally.

By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH, Daily Monitor

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