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Byline: Walter Wafula
Last week Ms Maria Kiwanuka the new minister of finance unveiled a record Shs9.8 trillion budget to finance government's programmes for the financial year 2011/12. Like a football tournament, the budget obviously had its winners and losers after the presentation of the Budget Speech.
Sitting atop the 'budget table' are farmers, the youth, assemblers of refrigerators and freezers, industrialists, dealers and consumers of solar equipment among others. At the bottom of the table are civil servants, hoteliers, the media, dealers in new cars, and imported services, as well as multinational corporations operating in Uganda.
While Ms. Kiwanuka's budget has been lauded as a pro-poor one, it clearly fell short of many citizens' expectations despite its effort to deal with some of the current economic constraints. A survey conducted by auditing firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu among 1,000 people in East Africa prior to the budget readings reveals that 90 per cent of the citizens in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, expected the governments to reduce tax on petrol, diesel, kerosene and paraffin. Exactly 91 per cent of the Ugandans who participated in the survey demanded for the reduction in fuel prices.
In response to the demand, the government moved …