Leaders in Bunyoro Region, mid western Uganda have blamed poor public service delivery to delayed fund remittance from the central government back to the respective district local governments.
During the Regional Budget Conference in Hoima city, the leaders said the new policy that requires locally collected revenues to be submitted to the centre and later sent back to local governments after receiving requisition from the respective districts is disempowering and frustrating.
Mr Yosia Bahunga Ndibwami, the Kagadi District Local Government Chairman, said that revenue collected from utility revenue, property taxes and intergovernmental revenues could help to make urgent decisions in public service had it not been the current bureaucracy involved.
According to him, the education and road works sectors are the worst affected by the delayed fund remittance from the centre.
He said the funds from central to local government account for 65 per cent allocated to the district and 35 per cent to sub-counties which
makes it hard for the district stakeholders to make a proper budget.
“With service delivery, there is no way you can achieve your intended goals unless you have critical staff to implement it,” said Mr Ndibwami.
During the same conference, Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi District LC5 Chairman, criticised the policy saying the revenue that the central government takes has local issues to address.
“We have always been facing challenges whereby when local revenue is collected and transferred to the Ministry of Finance, it takes us a long time to seek permission to receive the money back to us and the process of getting it released back to us takes time,” Mr Byaruhanga said.
He called upon the central government to ensure equal and special grants to districts since most of the funds are taken by the centre through Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
Audio: Byaruhanga on local revenue (English)
The conference was organised by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development at Hoima Resort Hotel in Hoima city.