Science and Technology budget faces a drastic cut.
By Adiga Julius.
The budget committee of parliament chaired by Amos Lugolobi has vowed not to approve, the allocation of 50 billion shillings for the ministry of Science Technology, and Innovation for the financial 2018/2019, If the sector does not come up with clear operational guiltiness on how the money is going to be spent.
This after the chairperson on the sectoral committee on science and technology, Robert Kaferoo Sekitoleko, said that the President had ordered 50 billion shillings for the innovation fund, but the money was not allocated to (STI) sector, however later on Ministry of ICT
deducted 15 billion shillings and the STI ministry remained with 30 billion, in the subsequent reallocation and appropriation by Parliament another 5 billion was cut off, so STI remained with 30 billion for innovations.
However these officials were not provided with the money for operating funds and other wage activities, they ended up seeking authorization from the ministry of finance to use part of the money
for their ministerial operations and that is not proper, but because there were no clear guidelines to ensure this money is spent accordingly and yet there are even no proper methods of who should benefit from the innovation fund.
‘’so I agree with the budget committee that before we give them more money for innovations there should be clear approved guidelines on how to utilize these funds”, the chairperson of the sectorial Committee on innovation admitted.
Hon Sekitoleko was Submitting a report of the sectoral committee on science, technology, and innovation sector budget framework paper for F/Y 2018/2019.
The committee on innovation chaired by Sekitoleko however recommended to parliament that, the ministry budget allocation should be increased to enable it to develop a strategic plan to execute its mandate
Research and innovation UGX 5 billion be re-allocated by parliament during the FY2018/2019 appropriation process should be reinstated to support further development of the existing innovations and to enable
new beneficiaries to be brought on board.
He added that an additional UGX 10 billion should be found and added to the innovation to support the solar irrigation pump project in collaboration with the college of engineering, Design, Art, and Technology Makerere University among others.
It should be recalled that the ministry of science, Technology was created in June 2016; its budget was then considered under the ministry of education, science Technology, innovation, and sports.
In March 2107, Government however realized the need to explicitly prioritize issues relating to the science, technology, and innovation sector as a key driver for economic development to attain key vision 2040.
Therefore an independent Ministry of (STI) thus was created to provide policy direction, setting national standards, coordination, of all matters related to scientific research, technology, and all innovation activities in the country for sustainable development.