By Nelson Wesonga(The Daily Monitor)
The government moved Shs125 billion from the Petroleum Fund to the Uganda Consolidated Fund (UCF) to support this fiscal year’s budget, a March 19 letter by the Finance minister indicates.
The letter, signed by Mr Matia Kasaija, is addressed to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
Though moving money from the Petroleum Fund to the UCF is not illegal, it is the first time it has happened, according to Mr Kasaija, and it is not clear if it will be the last time.
“…reduction in the fund value from Shs507 billion reported in June 2017 to the current Shs422.9 billion is due to the transfer of Shs125.3 billion to the UCF to finance the budget as per appropriation,” Mr Kasaija’s letter reads in part.
In his letter, he adds that officials from the Finance ministry, and two agencies, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Auditor General’s Office, resolved that income tax and Withholding Tax (WHT) from the exclusive suppliers in the petroleum sector go to Petroleum Fund and not UCF.
“It was further agreed that such revenues that were collected and remitted to the UCF should be refunded to the Petroleum Fund,” the minister’s letter says.
According to a letter by the Accountant General’s office, Shs85.3 billion representing both income tax and WHT had been collected by URA and transferred to UCF instead of the Petroleum Fund.
“These have been reconciled and will be transferred to the Petroleum Fund in the subsequent period,” read in part the Petroleum Fund’s financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2017, and signed by Ms Jennifer Muhurizi on behalf of the Accountant General, Mr Lawrence Kiwanuka.
About the fund
Formation. The Petroleum Fund, which came into effect in March 2015, is a depository for revenues accruing to government from petroleum and petroleum-related activities, which can be used to support the annual budget
Pledge. President Museveni in 2016 said Uganda’s oil revenue will be used to develop electricity, railway and road infrastructure.
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