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We have sunk Shs 2.3trn in PDM, says Kasaija

LIRA, September 19, 2023 – The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija has said the government is committed to the implementation of the Parish Development model [PDM] to help 3.5 million households in the country to move from the subsistence economy to the money economy.

In a speech read for him by the Commissioner, Public Administration, Moses Kabanda, Kasaija said government has already provided Shs 2.3 trillion to 10,594 parishes since the programme kicked off in the financial year 2021/2022.

“In the next financial year [2024/2025] and beyond, the strategy of implementation will be strengthened to ensure that all the seven pillars are congruently implemented for effective attainment of the intended goal,” he said.

The PDM beneficiaries are getting the money under the Financial Inclusion Pillar. Other pillars of the PDM include; Production, processing and marketing; Infrastructure and Economic Services; Social Services; Mindset change and crosscutting issues; Parish based management information system; Governance and administration.

Minister Kasaija’s speech was read at regional budget consultative workshop organised by for local governments at Margarita Hotel in Lira City on Monday. The workshop was part of a series of similar workshops taking place across the country to communicate government’s budget strategy and priorities for the next financial year 2024/25.

He added that the next financial year budget will priotise agricultural production, value addition, climate change, food security, implementation of parish development model, accelerated development of the mineral sector and consolidating infrastructure development to reduce the cost of doing business.

Others priorities, he said, are: Security and good governance, human capital development, digitalization and automation of the economy as well as private sector development.

“I implore all of us to embrace efforts towards the implementation of the Parish Development Model,” he said.

The regional workshop in Lira City drew LC5 chairpersons, resident district commissioners, and chief administrative officers and other officials from Lango, Karamoja, Teso, West Nile, and Acholi sub-regions.

The Finance ministry will also be providing indicative planning figures and grant programme guidelines to local governments to facilitate the preparation of the financial  2024/25 budget.

Local government technical staff and political heads attending the workshop (Courtesy photo).

Jeff Gidaguyi, the programme and policy advisor of the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group [CSBAG], said there is a need for proper mapping of beneficiaries to get accurate data required by the PDM information system.

He added that there is also a need to register all the PDM SACCOs and verify the beneficiaries so that the money meant for the poor does not go to those who are rich.

Kwania district LCV chairperson, Alex Ogwal Adyebo lauded the government for initiating the PDM, even though he said the programme launched in February 2022 faces several challenges that must addressed if positive results are to be realised.

He said there is a need to send more extension workers to rural areas to help the farmers targeted by the PDM, as they engage in commercial production.

Government has committed to give each parish in Uganda Shs 100mln every financial year for five years, beginning with the financial year 2022/ 2023. In both the financial years 2022/2023 and 2023/ 2023, about Shs 1 trillion was allocated to the PDM beneficiaries.

The money to the parishes is a revolving fund meant for borrowing by the PDM beneficiaries so that they invest it in selected enterprises like; coffee, bananas, fruits, ground nuts, soybeans, maize, and beans, as well as dairy farming, and beekeeping, fish farming among others.

The Financial Inclusion pillar is part of the broader efforts by government to fulfil national commitment to the realisation of Uganda’s Vision 2040. The pillar is aligned to the National Microfinance Policy, National Cooperative Policy, 2011, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy [NFIS 2017-2022], and the Strategy for Financial Literacy, among other key legal, regulatory and policy frameworks.

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