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Government Halts Travel For Officials, Salary Increments, Purchase of Vehicles And Borrowing in Move to Control Expenditure

In a bid to control expenditure, the government has come up with a plan which will among others see it stop travel abroad for its officials but also no more salary enhancements in the next year.

In a communication to all agencies, the Ministry of Finance has provided guidelines to be followed that in view of constrained resources, there will be no new borrowing in the next financial year.

“This shall continue over the short to medium term so as to minimize the share of URA revenues being used to service debt in the medium term so as to make more resources available to finance critical development priorities for government,” the communication by the Ministry of Finance reads in part.

According to the guidelines, travels abroad has been banned for government officials for the next year, except for a few people.

“Travel abroad spending shall be restricted to only the president, the vice president, the speaker and deputy speaker( of parliament), the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Prime Minister, Principal Judge and critical travel for security, arbitration of government cases and resource mobilization,” the communication says.

To this, the government has also reduced by 50%, spending on workshops and seminars.

In 2020, the Ministry of Finance indicated it would save the government over shs200 billion per year by banning the travel of its officials abroad.

A 2017 report by the Internal Security Organization(ISO) indicated that on average, the State House spends over Shs56 billion while parliament spends over Shs21 billion on travel abroad.

In the latest communication to government agencies, the move to stop foreign travel has been necessitated by the need for government to use the constrained resources well.

No more pay rise
According to the circular by the Ministry of Finance, there will not be any more pay rises for civil servants for at least one year from now and therefore the previously agreed plan to increase salaries for civil servants will commence at least in the 2024/25 financial year.

Last year, the cabinet approved an enhanced pay plan for all civil servants starting this financial year.

This meant that all government employees were to have a pay rise starting this year but according to the latest communication by the Ministry of Finance, this will not be the case, for at least one year.

Among those most affected by the latest cuts are UPDF soldiers between the rank of Private and Captain who were destined for a huge pay rise, owing to last year’s new salary structure proposed by the Ministry of Defence and approved by the Ministry of Finance.

The least paid UPDF soldier at the rank of private was destined to earn shs1 million in the new salary structure which was to begin in the forthcoming financial year, starting June 2023.

However, these will have to wait for at least one year before this is effected.

In the circular, the government is also set to freeze the purchase of new vehicles in the forthcoming financial year 2023/24 with exception of hospital ambulances, vehicles for medical supplies or distribution, agricultural extension services, security and revenue mobilization.

The new measures according to the Ministry of Finance are meant to reduce government expenditure by at least shs3.7 trillion and to this, now the government entity will receive a budget increment.

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