Uganda has not yet reached the level of setting the minimum wage, Ramatham Ggoobi, the Secretary to the Treasury and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has revealed.

According to Ggoobi, it is bad economics to institute a minimum wage in an economy like that of Uganda. Speaking at the launch of the budget month in Kampala Tuesday, Ggoobi explained that economies set the minimum wage when they attain a certain level of development while trying to ensure efficiency. 

Ggoobi says that the government lacks the power to set the minimum wage for fear of creating undesirable mass unemployment in the country.

He explained that in the meantime, the government is focusing on other issues like gradual salary enhancement for civil servants starting with over Ug.Sh 400 bn that has been earmarked in the next financial year to enhance the salaries of health workers and other scientists.

Many Ugandans have been agitating for a minimum wage given the high cost of living. Speaking about next year’s budget, Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija described it as a pro-people budget that is focusing on poverty eradication.

Kasaija said that the budget will aim at ensuring peace and stability through enhanced security, macro-economic stability, mitigating the impact of COVID-19  through widespread vaccination as well as social-economic transformation.

He noted that although the economy is not moving as fast as expected, Ugandans shouldn’t be worried because it has registered some growth and it is projected to grow at between 3.8% to 4.5% in the next financial year compared to the 3.4% growth by the end of the financial year 2020/2021.

This year’s budget month is to run from May 17 to July 9. It will involve activities that increase the awareness of budget processes among the population such as media engagements, awarding ceremonies, speeches with hybrid conferences, East African community tax budget dialogue, private sector dialogue, and several breakfast meetings.          

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