The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, has directed the House Committee on Finance and Planning to present a report on the Public Finance Management Bill, next week on Tuesday without fail.
The Bill was more than a month ago tabled before parliament for consideration and it seeks to operationalize the oil agreements.
It also aims at among others giving Uganda National Oil Company-UNOOC, powers to collect and use oil revenue in paying oil companies their recoverable costs without seeking Parliament’s approval and later deposit the balance into the Petroleum Fund.
During the Thursday plenary sitting, the finance committee chairperson Keefa Kiwanuka informed parliament that they had made significant progress on the Bill but there are still some sticky clauses that they are yet to agree on with the Ministry of Finance.
He told MPs that the ministry officials appealed that the committee halts consideration of the Bill as they carry out more consultations on the clauses. He appealed for an extension of one month’s time to enable his committee to conclude the Bill.
However, Thomas Tayebwa, the Government Chief Whip said that government needs the Bill passed immediately. He made a commitment that they would conclude with the pending issues by next week so that the report on the Bill be presented on Tuesday.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among ruled that the report be presented on Tuesday 14th, noting that government should be ready to process its business in parliament once it is presented.
Uganda Radio Network-URN learnt that legislators are opposed on the proposal of giving UNOOC powers to collect and use oil revenue in paying oil companies their recoverable costs without seeking Parliament’s approval.
They argue that this takes away the House appropriation power of allocating public finances.
While interfacing with the Minister of State for Finance-General Duties, Henry Musasizi recently, the MPs and the minister disagreed on the issue.
Musasizi then noted that the Bill is specific and seeks a specific purpose and maintained the position in the Bill.
The National Oil Authority Executive Director, Ernest Rubondo is also reported to have told the committee that parliament needed to give UNOC legal and beneficial ownership over oil revenue to enable them meet financial obligations to companies investing in the sector.
He said that the appropriation control for the national oil company is not new in the oil and gas sector. URN