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Parliament Passes Shs 304Bn COVID-19 Supplementary Budget without Debate

Parliament on Tuesday evening passed the supplementary budget of Shs 304bn required by the Government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The supplementary report presented by the Budget Committee Chairperson, Amos Lugolobi of Njeru North County, was however uncharacteristically passed without debate automatically quashing the minority (opposing) report from the opposition presented by Ntungamo municipality MP, Gerald Karuhanga.  

In the budget Ministry of Health, which is at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic, is given Shs 104.2, security meant to enforce curfew and social distancing, manage borders and others has got Shs 77bn.

The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance that needed Shs 14bn has been given Shs 6bn and the committee recommended that the balance be channeled direct to Ministries, Agencies and Departments to handle their communication needs.

Meanwhile, Kampala Capital City Authority has been given Shs 30bn since the city is projected to register the most cases.

The Local Government Ministry Headquarters, Resident District Commissioners and Districts got Shs 36.2bn and Ministry of Disaster, Preparedness and Refugees is given Shs 59.4bn to procure beans and maize floor for the urban poor.

The day at Parliament started with a lengthy Parliamentary Commission meeting composed of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan, Leader of Government Business (Prime Minister) Ruhakana Rugunda (represented by Gen. Moses Ali), Finance Minister and four backbench members.

The plenary sitting on Tuesday chaired by Kadaga kicked off few minutes after 3pm and much of the time was consumed by comments from MPs after the submission from the Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng on the 14 days lockdown strategy.

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The supplementary budget item was introduced, read and concluded few mutes after 6pm when most legislators were thinking of quick exit from the House to avoid breaching 7pm curfew.

Some MPs wanted the matter deferred and indeed Kadaga agreed with them but other legislators pushed for the concluding of the matter today.

 The supplementary budget was finally passed with other previous requests all totaling to Shs 932bn.

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