The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has called upon the government to increase funding to the urban authorities for the construction of roads in the municipalities.
Rt.Hon. Kadaga said that while Parliament passed a loan for construction of roads in 14 municipalities, she was shocked to discover that the money covered only a few kilometres of these roads.
“I went to Jinja recently and I was shocked that the funds were covering only 10KM of the Municipality. I think we need a comprehensive loan to cover at least 30km,”she said.
Kadaga made this observation while meeting a delelgation of the Local Government Finance Commission which presented its 2014/2015 A-nnual Report to her. The delegation was led by the Vice Chairperson Sarah Mukasa.
The Speaker promised to address the issue of funding with the Minister of Finance but also urged the local governments to look at other sources of income to address the shortfalls.
“We need to promote community tourism as another source of funding for the districts,” she added.
Earlier, while presenting the report, Mukasa said that there is need for Parliament to support government in reviewing the policy of taxing local government revenues from markets and parking fees which are taxed VAT.
“Parliament should review the various legislations that tend to affect the local revenue mobilisation and management. It is hoped that financing of local governments will improve and help deliver the country to middle income status,” she said.
The Report notes that the Local Government Finance Commission analysed 133 vote holder local government budgets and found that only five districts had budgets which were not balancing.
The Report adds that all district councils did not allocate reasonable funds to national priorities from local revenues as required by law.
“Funds from local revenues were mainly allocated to the departments of finance, statutory bodies, planning and internal audit which provide administrative support,” the report states.
The Local Government Finance Commission Annual Report is compiled annually and is supposed to be submitted to the Speaker as prescribed in the Local Government Act.