According to finance minister Matia Kasaija, the government has so far allocated shillings 2, 324 billion (2.3 trillion) under the Parish Development Model initiative.
Kasaija made the statements on Monday at the Margarita Palace Hotel in Lira city during the local government regional budget consultative sessions for 2024/2025.
He stated that the PDM implementation plan would be intensified in the coming fiscal year and beyond to guarantee that all seven pillars are congruently executed to transition people from the non-cash to cash economy.
Kasaija stated in a keynote lecture provided by finance ministry commissioner public administration Moses Kabanda that it comprises effective program execution, monitoring, and assessment.
He noted that the next goal is to ensure the operationalization of the other six pillars of PDM beyond financial inclusion, such as simplifying all program interventions and service delivery at parishes.
“A total of shillings 2,324 billion has been provided under the third pillar of financial inclusion since the fiscal year 2021/2022 when the implementation began,” he added.
Kasaija stated that while some milestones have been achieved since the program’s commencement, there are other problems that must be addressed.
PDM was introduced in February 2022, and each of Uganda’s 10,594 parishes is expected to get shillings 100 million every fiscal year for the next five years.
Kasaija stated that the program is the mechanism for moving the 39% of the people from the subsistence economy to the money economy via the seven pillars.
Production, processing, and selling are cornerstones, as are development of infrastructure and economic services, financial inclusion, social services, mentality transformation, parish-based management information system, and governance and administration.
In another development, Kasaija stated that the next fiscal year’s budget strategy interventions will place a greater emphasis on consolidating and accelerating inclusive socioeconomic change, with the goal of increasing economic growth by at least 6.5% and 7% over the medium term.
He specifically stated that the upcoming fiscal year would prioritize agricultural production and value addition, climate change and food security management, PDM implementation, and accelerating mineral sector growth, among other things.
According to Maxwell Odongo, the National Planning Authority’s head of planning, education, and skills development, the proposed strategies include accelerating agro-industrialisation, harnessing science, technology, and innovation for increased productivity, recapturing the domestic market, and promoting exports.
Other sectors include, among others, boosting tourist competitiveness, mineral exploration and value addition, accelerating investment in the oil and gas industry for oil, and improving access and quality of social services.
On PDM, Jeff Gidaguyi Wadulo of the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group stated that reliable data on the number of parishes, intended beneficiaries, and financing fluctuations is required.
He also stated that the PDM secretariat must oversee SACCOS registration and member verification in order to reduce incorrect beneficiaries and fund loss.