National – Government is committed to finding a solution to the escalating commodity prices in the country, Finance minister Matia Kasaija revealed.
Minister Kasaija said this while presenting a Shs48.1 trillion budget for the financial year 2022/2023 to the country yesterday.
He said plans are underway to curb the skyrocketing commodity prices in the country in the short, medium and long term.
He cited maintaining a market-based determination of prices to ensure that demand does not outstrip supply and supporting farmers to grow more fast-maturing food and oil seeds as some of the measures government intends to roll out to curb the skyrocketing commodity prices.
The minister noted that the escalating commodity prices have led to an increase in overall inflation from 2.7 percent in January 2022 to 6.3 percent in May 2022, causing considerable discomfort among the public.
He attributed the recent increase in the prices of essential commodities to COVID-19 restrictions across the world which he said disrupted supply-chains, causing shortage of intermediate raw materials that are used to produce some essential commodities.
“The situation has been worsened by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has further disrupted supply of oil, cereals such as wheat, maize, and sunflower oil, as well as essential metals like aluminum and nickel. The two countries are major producers and exporters of these commodities,” Kasaija said.
He also recommended advance improvement of alternative fuel import routes across Lake Victoria to avoid possible unnecessary supply disruptions as well as construct additional fuel storage infrastructure in the medium term and stock them adequately.
He, however, reiterated that government cannot undertake measures which can lead to long-term and painful distortions in the economy.
“Government cannot influence price levels whose changes are driven by external shocks outside its control,” minister Kasaija said.
After presenting the budget, minister Kasaija tweeted; “I thank all Ugandans for showing keen interest in the national budget for next financial year which I presented to the country today. I encourage all of you to take full advantage of the opportunities in the budget for FY 2022/23.”
The 2022/2023 budget was read under the theme; “Full Monetisation of Uganda’s Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialisation, Expanding and Broadening Services, Digital Transformation and Market Access”.
With domestic revenue projected at Shs30.7 trillion, the budget has prioritised security, education, Health, Parish Development Model and the enhancement of salaries for government scientists.