The Art of Deficit Financing: Budget 2020/21

Deficit financing, however, may also result from government inefficiency, reflecting widespread tax evasion or wasteful spending rather than the operation of a planned countercyclical policy. Where capital markets are undeveloped, deficit financing may place the government in debt to foreign creditors. In addition, in many less-developed countries, budget surpluses may be desirable in themselves as a way of encouraging private saving” (Encyclopaedia Britannica – ‘Deficit financing’ (25.08.2015).

What is striking from the 2020/21 budget is that its not only 45 trillion shillings, but the way they are financing this spending. Because, the budget need financing or revenue to pay the expenditure. You cannot use air to pay the bondsman. The people you owe money or supposed to spend on needs real cash-flow and liquidity to be fiscal responsible.

What we learned again is the debt deficit financing, which has been common staple in the Republic. Since domestic revenue or tax revenue is about 20 trillions shillings. This means that the rest of the budget has to paid for in various of other ways. In this regard, the state are borrowing, refinancing and gaining more debt. As the state is also wasting more of the budget on paying interests.

This is really making a evil circle and continuing debt trap. Even if the trillions upon trillions owned by the state is growing. That this still haven’t hit a debt ceiling. However, the issue here is the amount of paying interests. They are wasting away money on paying for old loans. This is what the state is initially offering. While it is gaining new debt to finance the over-expenditure today.

When the state pays 4 trillion shillings (9% of the budget) in interests. That shows how destructive this is for the budget. How important it has become. When 1 in 10 shillings of the budgets are paid in interest. This money could have been spent in all parts of society. It could have changed people’s lives and invested in the future. Instead its paying on the debt trap created by the same state.

Deficit financing and refinancing will only ensure the future generations are paying for the growing debt created by the current government. They are borrowing on the future growth and supposed revenue. Even as the state is ballooning the budgets, that they are not able to cover more than half. That is worrying and should worry the republic too.

Yes, that budgets get ballooned in election years are common. That the budgets are insincere and write of taxes in these years are typical too. All of this isn’t new. It is what happens when the Republic is preparing for elections in the coming year. Therefore, the state needs a treasure chest to bling out on chiefs, voter tourism and whatever else to look good for everyone.

That is why this budget is like this. We can clearly see that the state are continuing to acquire more debt, which means the interest payments will grow every year. This is why the refinancing and growing debt should worry everyone. Because, just like the interests payments are now at 9% or 4 trillion shillings this year. We can wonder how it will look when the grace-periods of several of loans are over and the initial price of these as well.

The Republic of Uganda deserves better, but the leaders and the ones in-charge are making it like this. They are not concerned about the future and that is very clear. As they are spending and squandering away the future today. Then someone have to pick up the tab in the future. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee wants it to BOP his way

You want another rap? Nah, didn’t think so. Even if President Museveni wants a BOP. Not a DaBaby track or anything. His just approved the US$500 million dollars to the Republic. This was reported earlier this month and he approved it on the 6th of May 2020, but stamped by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) on the 11th of May 2020.

What is unique here is that this loan is given on the idea of “Balance of Payments”. Economist would know that this to cover the deficit and the balance the budgets. This is to ensure the state has enough revenue to already cover the deficit it has. That is why grants and loans comes to ensure the levels of revenue covers the spending. This means that the state has spend a hundred dollars, but only had 50 dollars in liquidity. So, to ensure the accounts are balanced, the BOP comes in and fix the shortfall.

Museveni writes this in the letter:

The money that goes to the Bank of Uganda is for “balance of payments support”. “Balance of Payments supports” does not only mean helping the country to “import more” but must also mean helping the country to “import less” by manufacturing these products here. With this undertaking, I approve the loan” (Museveni, 06.05.2020).

Because what the support does in the instance of the hundred dollars budget with a shortfall of 50 dollars revenue. The BOP support is the missing 50 dollars and makes it zero. Meaning, the accounts and financial flows should turn into zero. That means with the budget with its expenditure and its revenue its should be a nil or zero sum game. Therefore, when the President claims this helps local industry and less imports. I don’t see it.

Especially, if this is a BOP. Because, a BOP is a fixated way of balancing the budgets, not secure more trade. Its to cover deficits between expenditure and revenue. This isn’t a magical sphere of happiness and joy. This is budgetary measure to cover the shortfalls and lack of domestic revenue. To cover expenses that appeared or was already budgeted. Therefore, the need of Balance of Payments from the IMF to cover those.

This can be seen as a Financial Inflow to cover the deficit.

Like this:

-100 dollars budget/Import

+50 dollars revenue/Export

+50 dollars Financial inflow (BOP Support)

= 0

That is why, when the man says like this. Its a game of balancing the budget. Not putting a wand on the thing and swiftly changing things. This is just a financial measure to cover a deficit. A short-term solution to a shortfall. That will not solve anything, but by time. Not cover debt, not create a market nor make a big difference. Its just covering expenditure. Nothing else.

The President can make it seem so, but that wouldn’t be a BOP. That would be another instrument and another measure. Where the funds was actually meant for investment. This is covering the basics.

Let me end with DaBaby: “I needed some shit with some bop in it (Let’s go)” (DaBaby – ‘BOP’ of KIRK, 2019). Peace.

Statement by the People Power Movement on the IMF Rapid Credit Facility Announced on 6th May 2020 (09.05.2020)

Opinion: Don’t let Mzee pimp a second round of debt relief

Back in the day, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the end of the 1990s the World Bank let the Republic of Uganda the opportunity to join their Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to cut the debt of the Republic. However, even with the massive amount of debt relief done in 1998 and later never stopped him from taking up more debt.

That is why the amount of interests paid on every single budget is debt burden, which is created by the President himself and his extensive cronyism. The President has ensured that the state owns so much money, while he stills continues the drill by financing half of it by more debt. Which has been method the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Mzee has used in the recent years.

That is why such a big amount of funds is going into interest payments. Also, why the Republic are going in a negative spiral, while the lack of domestic revenue isn’t following the projections of growth that the state always promises.

With the knowledge of this, as the President is asking for a debt relief now. His using the Coronavirus or COVID-19. The whole world are into a recession because of this. It is the perfect smokescreen. The President had the 2000s and 2010s to fix issues, but instead the plunge the economy anyway. He just need an excuse for a bailout.

Last time it was Universal Primary Education, a empty campaign promise and now there are plenty of dilapidated schools. They played and tried to focus on it, but gave it up along the way. Because, doing this properly would actually cost time and effort. The President and his big convoy would actually have invested more, than they wanted too. More promising spending on proxy-wars, than on proper education for everyone.

So, knowing that the Multi-National Organizations, Bretton-Woods Organizations and donors gave way to the Uganda in between the late 1990s and early 2000s. They offered billions in various of schemes, not only HPIC and Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). This has been done already and still the state is bound by loans and grants to function its government. Therefore, the bullet of debt relief has been wasted.

The amount of US Dollars spent on the debt relief earlier in the reign of Museveni. The Head of State has misused this in the past. Not like he will change now. He has used the system to pimp his budgets and his wealth. His enriched himself and his cronies. While the Republic is still poor and the revenue isn’t growing like the economic recovery of the 1990s said it should have done. If the cure of the past would have worked, than the need for debt relief now would be unnecessary.

In 2020, the Republic shouldn’t get debt relief. It will be only spoils for the elites and the cronies around the President. It will be used buying tear-gas and SUVs. The WaBenzi will eat the spoils and only give away beans to the ones in need.

That Museveni says the continent needs debt relief. He means that himself needs it now. Even if his a wealthy guy in an impoverished republic. A republic he has run for three decades. Which already got special treatment and had a controlled Consultative Group. So, its not like this man hasn’t pimped the system already. He has tricked it and promised to juice up vehicle, but instead continue to run it to the ground. Hoping he could trick some new leaders to do the same mistake. Trusting him and his “high above” leadership.

They already spent millions of dollars to cut of the debt of the Republic under his control. The leadership is the same and they will misuse this if they get it again. When he had the opportunity to use it the last time. He instead wasted it and has ensured the state is more addicted to loans. That is why he hopes someone else can bail him out. While his paying ghosts, fake tenders and whatnot.

So, the IMF and World Bank should know this, but they are maybe more afraid of their image, than the result of letting go of some funds. These funds will not help anyone directly out. Only ensure the President longer life in office. This will not help the ones in need. Than he would have already ensured that. Instead his continuing this ballad and serenading the international community. While he hopes that no one knows history.

He has failed the last debt-relief and misused his chance. That is why his continued to grow the debt, addicted to grants and not created a space for more development. Unless, they give the President some handshakes at the State House. This is the way it goes.

The President of the Republic has had all the time since 1986 and we are still here. There are still opposition Members of Parliament who are tortured, there are still lack of free space and militarization of politics. That has never changed, but he hopes nobody notice. That is why he hopes he can pimp the International Community another time. He already did the trick and hope he can get them buzzed by a few buzzwords.

I know for some this is a moment of nostalgia, but for some its deja vu’. We have been here before and we shouldn’t need to repeat the same bad tune, again and again. However, I expect nobody to listen to me. Peace.

Uganda: Kasaija plans to borrow $190m extra to cover a budget shortfall within two years!

Someone please call 911, yeah yeah (pick up the phone yo)

Tell them I just got shot down, tell them I just got shot down

And it’s piercin’ through my soul (I’m losin blood yo)

Feel my body gettin’ cold, oh, so cold

Someone please call 911 (can you do that for me)” – Wyclef Jean ft Mary J. Blige – ‘911’ , April 2000

In an election year in the Republic, the economy usually runs loose. The State House lacks suddenly funds, the President needs more and so fourth. That is standard procedure. However, on the 19th March 2020 Matia Kasaija has now announced that the plans to borrow USD 190 million to cover a short-fall of funds, because of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

This is deemed fit because of the pandemic and the financial disruption it has. Not that the Republic is alone in this. Other big states and plenty in the Western hemisphere is putting up packages of economic stimulus to salvage the economy because of it. So, the sentiment is understandable. However, the Ugandan republic is already heavily indebted and every single development project of late is covered by debts and debt relief. Not like its sustainable to take up nearly USD 200 million to suddenly boost a dying economy.

Here’s the quotes:

The low activity in industry and services sectors will result into loss of jobs further leading to a decline in economic growth and an increase in the level of poverty. The number of people that could be pushed into poverty is estimated at approximately 780, 000” (STATEMENT ON THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID.19 ON UGANDA,, 19.03.2020).

To deal with the financing gap in the Government budgets for FY 2019/20 and FY 2020/21, my Ministry will seek for a budget support loan on concessional terms worth US$ 100 million for FY2019/20 and US$ 90 million for FY202021 from the World Bank” (STATEMENT ON THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID.19 ON UGANDA,, 19.03.2020).

It’s seems like they have the perfect cover for rising debt. They need to do something, because lots of industries are shut-down or silenced by the lack of tourism and foreign exchange. Also, the diaspora is hit and can therefore, not remit enough funds to boost the economy either.

The MoFPED really want to stain the economy more. To quote the IMF:

““Rising debt puts more strain on the budget as more resources need to be allocated for interest payments. One shilling paid for debt service is one shilling less going to a school or a health clinic. The current ratio of interest payments to revenue is comparable to what countries with high risk or in debt distress typically face” (IMF – ‘Uganda’s Economic Outlook in Six Charts’ 09.05.2019).

By borrowing close to USD 200 million is really pushing the envelope. As the interests needs to be served, the grace period might be short, as the state of finances across the board is souring. Therefore, the state will not get to favourable terms with this. The World Bank also has all other states begging for funds and possible grants to push the set-back of the pandemic. Not like Uganda is the only one crying out loud and applying for money.

This money will not be free money, but tainted money. This sort of funds is needed, because the state wasn’t planned nor had the capacity to have a rainy-day fund. The Petroleum Fund has already been raided and therefore, couldn’t come in handy now. This is the mismanagement, your already in a negative spiral with more and more loans. This is just adding two more and they are big. That will cost in the long run. It might salvage today and tomorrow. However, it will scar the next generation. Unless, someone is forgiving like these entities was in the early 1990s. Before the state again took up huge loans to cover deficits.

This is just the way it is now. Not a good look. Understandable in the growing crisis. However, that shouldn’t undercut the possible pain it will bring in the future. Save the day, but cause more harm tomorrow. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 (20.03.2020)

Opinion: Keith is in 2 billion pickle shillings

““As you are aware on the 28th February 2020 this Ministry transferred USD 600,000 to the Uganda mission in Beijing to support the affected students,” Keith wrote in a letter dated March 10, 2020. “However upon receipt of the cabinet extract, we noted that there is discrepancy between the amounts therein and that stated in the letter from Ministry of Education and Sports.” The letter directs the accountant to return 538,200 USD (1.997 billion Shillings)” (Edge.ug – ‘Uganda erroneously sends Shs2bn to students in China’ 11.03.2020).

Someone has had a bad ending of February 2020, maybe the Ministry of Finance, Planning, Economic and Development (MoFPED) Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi suddenly seen the boo-boo done by someone. There was someone who didn’t due their due diligence, when the state signed off the amount of money sent from a government account over to the Chinese Embassy.

They clearly don’t have the protocol of two people checking the accounts, if they did then one brother would call out the other one. The second brother would say, “hey man, isn’t that more than what where supposed to go there and isn’t this wrong, sir?”. The Permanent Secretary Muhakanizi should clearly implement this. So, that two people have to sign-off transactions made on public accounts, because then they might save the humiliation of letter writing to a embassy asking for the return of the added US Dollars.

This is why you have check-points on spending and especially government spending. Since, this is money that supposed to be spent on the public and services made for the citizens. If this is for diplomatic work, help citizens and such. This is why, the transparency and the accountability is so important. That tenders, transactions and procurement done by the government and its organizations are done properly and through standards. However, we know that is not the case.

The person behind this transaction, surely has signed it off somewhere. They tend to be imprinted on the accounts, the rights to send or transfer funds and has put in the documentation to do so. That guy should answer for this. The Permanent Secretary looks like a dumb-dumb, but it might be either someone higher up the food-chain or a knuckle-head down in the Ministry who messed up. Nobody caught a whiff off it, until they saw their account had less shillings in it.

However, that is also a scary thing. Considering the 11 days it took to catch up on the movement of the unaccounted funds. The massive load of 2 billion shillings gone missing. It had a destination, but surely not intended there. MoFPED surely needs new guidelines and mechanisms to stop this. Unless, they are doing more of it and it doesn’t go public. Like a new type of Presidential Handshakes and kickbacks for public servants. This is why, the MoFPED doesn’t have the security checks before any transaction from the public accounts. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for February 2020 (13.02.2020)

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for December 2019 (09.12.2019)

Deficit Financing: MoFPED propose to borrow 2 trillion shillings to cover the budget shortfall!

Deficit financing, however, may also result from government inefficiency, reflecting widespread tax evasion or wasteful spending rather than the operation of a planned countercyclical policy. Where capital markets are undeveloped, deficit financing may place the government in debt to foreign creditors. In addition, in many less-developed countries, budget surpluses may be desirable in themselves as a way of encouraging private saving” (Encyclopaedia Britannica – ‘Deficit financing’ (25.08.2015).

In the original budget for 2019/20, the estimated domestic revenue of the state was about Shs. 20 trillion shillings, while the rest would be covered by close to Shs 10 trillion shillings in this manner the budget would cover the 40 trillion shillings. Today in Parliament, the debt trap, which was forecasted by several of Civil Society Organizations and others was proven.

Not only with the recent stipulation of the first Supplementary Schedule to the Budget Year of 2019/20, but also the lack of domestic revenue. This again proves the trouble with generating even half of the budget. As the Parliament are this week, either accepting borrowing 2 trillions domestically to boost the lack of domestic revenue. That means the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the state haven’t delivered on the promise. As the state was spending more and more, but not having the funds to do so.

Therefore, if the state does this. Than, Shs. 2 trillions are loaned to cover for the lack of delivery, the lack of preparations from the government and the added costs of the local government units created. The government knows this, but acts surprised that state have to invest in it. That’s why they have a supplementary budget for it and surely there will be more schedules before the end of the financial year.

Just look at this:

To address the projected revenue shortfall presented in paragraph 3 and the additional expenditure pressures presented under paragraph 9, Government requires a total amount of Euro 600 million equivalent to UGX 2,439 bn (Two Thousand Four hundred and Thirty-nine Billion) to finance part of the budget deficit” (Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) – ‘THE PROPOSAL TO BORROW UP TO EURO 300 MILLION (EURO THREE HUNDRED MILLION) FROM STANBIC BANK (U) LTD AND EURO 3OO MILLION (EURO THREE HUNDRED MILLION) FROM TRADE DEVELOPMENT BANK TO FINANCE THE BUDGET DEFICIT FOR FY 2019/20, December 2019).

Given the revenue performance in the first two quarters of the FY 2019/20, the projected revenue turnout for FY 2019/20 is Shs 181575.18 billion, against the target of Shs 20,448.73 billion. This

reflects a projected shortfall of Shs 1,873.55 billion” (MoFPED, 2019).

In line with the above Section of the PFMA 2015, Ushs 437.631 billion representing 1.08% of the Approved Budget for FY 2019/20 has been authorized by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development as Supplementary funding. The purpose of this letter therefore, is to submit Supplementary Schedule 1 FY 2019/20 for consideration by Parliament. Please make arrangements for the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to lay the schedule before Parliament” (Keith Muhakanizi – ‘SUPPLEMENTARY SCHEDULE 1 FY 20I9/20’, 21.09.2019).

Rt. Hon. Speaker, in line with Section 25 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 (as amended), I authorized and have accordingly submitted to Parliament Supplementary Schedule 1 amounting to Ushs. 437.6 billion for this FY” (MoFPED, 2019).

In line with the above, the budget for FY 20Lgl20 is facing the following constraints:

– URA shortfall in revenue of Shs 1,873.55 billion;

– Additional expenditure pressures of Shs. L,432.2bn

– Non-receipt of World Bank budget support funds of Shs. 375 bn

and

– Non-receipt of capital gains tax of Shs. 225 billion (USD 60

million);

10. The total revenue resource shortfall in the FY 2019/20 therefore amounts to Shs. 2,473.55 billion” (MoFPED, 2019).

We know this is serious, when the budget of the FY 2019/20 was 40 trillion. When 2,4 trillion of these have to get borrowed domestically. Even if 437bn of these are supplementary budget and wasn’t in the original budget of the FY. Still, the 2 trillion are a big slice to borrow and gain more loans. This is a debt trap, trapped by even more trap. As the tax-base isn’t growing as forecasted or as possible. By this estimation of the original budget, the domestic borrowing in this financial year would go up from about shs. 10 trillion shillings to about shs. 12 trillion shillings.

Because, with to much taxation, the funds are taken out of the circulation and isn’t spread as much. Not having the ability to generate more earnings for the citizens. They cannot spend, because they are actually paying taxes. That’s why you need sustainable taxes, which makes sense.

That’s why these loans are coming, because the state defaults on taxes, lacks the tax-base and doesn’t have the opportunity to gain the needed revenue. This the reality of the state. They will ask for the loans and add more debt. However, the government will not take responsibility for the acts done. The state are deficit financing and not generating revenue. That is why they are loaning even more debt. At a rate, which should worry anyone following it. Peace.