The State Minister of Finance for Planning, Hon David Bahati, has declared that Uganda’s public debt is at Shs41 trillion, which is an equivalent of US$10 billion.
In a statement to Parliament read by Bahati, government also said the debt stock has increased from US$2.5 billion in the 2006/2007 financial year to US$10.7 billion by the end of the last financial year.
By the end of June 2018, the total debt amounted to US$10 billion, with external debt accounting for 67 per cent.
According to minister Bahati the the rising debt has been caused by the stagnant tax collection.
“Our tax base is not growing at the same rate,” he added, putting the tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio at 14.3 per cent.
The domestic debt stands at 32.4 per cent, most of which is drawn from local commercial banks.
Public debt is at 30 per cent. However the opposition members of parliament have objected a figure the Opposition is reluctant to believe.
Hon Ibrahim Ssemujju, the chief opposition Whip condemned government’s actions of piling up debts a thing that has put the country at stake.
“After borrowing this money, and we see the way His Excellency the President is throwing money at youth groups…you just need to be prudent on the way you spend money,” Ssemujju said.
Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi urged the government to come up with a gross loan request during the drafting of the National Budget.
“As soon as we pass a loan, the first people to celebrate are the sharks out there…if we put in a basket fund, the bids will not be expensive,” remarked Nandala.
Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, referred the statement to the Committee on National Economy.
“The challenge that I face when presiding here is killing debate…just see the way we are proceeding now, we make these issues so trivial yet they are very serious,” said Oulanyah.