Mbarara District records shortfall in local revenue

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Mbarara district local government has recorded a shortfall in local revenue collection for the financial year 2020/2021 ending June.

According to a presentation by the Secretary of Finance and budgeting Basil Bataringaya, there was a shortfall of 400 million shillings out of the expected 1 Billion shillings and this affected most activities approved in the 2020/21 work plans and these activities have now been brought forward to the 2021/2022 financial year.

Mbarara district had planned to start the phase 1 construction of district administration headquarters at Bwizibwera using local revenue but this was not achieved due to low local revenue collections. The construction was budgeted at shillings 500 million.

They had also budgeted the construction of ramps to the council hall at 5million but failed to achieve it.

Other activities under the planned output in the education sector include the construction of Rukanja and Mishenyi Primary schools at a budget requirement of 142 million,

Mbarara district Chairperson LC V John Bosco Tumusiime Bamuturaki the shortfall was caused by the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic because all sources of income were closed like markets, tenants in our buildings were not able to pay.

He also attributed the shortfall of the Locally Raised Revenues because most revenue sources were taken up by newly created Town Councils of Nyabisirira in Kashare Sub County, Rwanyamahembe Town Council in Rwanyamahembe Sub County and Bukiro Town Council in Bukiro Sub County among others.

Bataringaya said that they have hopes that as people get acquitted with the covid-19 because they are learning to live by it to produce and also observe SOPs as they market their products which give a ray of hope for increased local revenue.

Bataringaya said shillings 1.2 billion of the shillings 32 Billion 2021/22 financial year’s budget is expected from local revenue.

“We hope with the normalcy taking the route as people get used to living within the standard operating procedures et by Health Ministry in the fight against Covid-19, markets slowly opening up, and trading booming slowly we shall manage to hit the local revenue target the coming financial year”.

According to the 2021/2022 financial year budget, the education sector takes the lion’s share of Shillings13 billion as part of the total 32 billion. Administration follows with Shillings 6 billion, and then Shillings 4 billion allocated to health sector.

James Mugisha, a financial consultant, says that local governments poor Tax Assessment is affecting the local revenue collections.

He says district local government authorities focus on the known sources of revenue without identifying new businesses and creating more markets.    

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