The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (Planning), Amos Lugoloobi, has said that government will now pay the Parish Development Model (PDM) monies in instalments due to cash flow problems.
Lugoloobi was on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, appearing before the Committee on Finance chaired by Keefa Kiwanuka to answer concerns of suppressed budgets to ministries, departments and agencies among others.
According to the Government, this financial year, each of the over 8,000 parishes is expected to receive Shs100 million that will be disbursed through Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOS).
Members of the committee said that whereas the Government promised to send money to parishes, to date, the parishes have not received the money, while others have received less than promised.
According to Gerald Nangoli, the Elgon North County MP, Ugandans waited in vain for the PDM money until the planting season came and went. He further said that although the parishes were promised Shs17 million during the Financial Year 2021/2022, some people received only Shs9.6 million.
“They couldn’t use this money because a parish cannot share Shs9.6 million per parish. Secondly, information moving around is that you reduced the amount you had promised people. Why don’t you give out this money because it is planting season?” he asked.
In response to this, Lugoloobi said that it is not true that the Government has reduced the money under the PDM but had only changed the modalities of payment.
Lugoloobi says that in this quarter, government will disburse Shs25 million, and in the second quarter another Shs50 million before concluding with an additional Shs25 million in the third quarter making it a total of Shs100 million this year.
On SACCOS that received less than Shs17 million, Lugoloobi said that those who received less will still receive the balance after their supplementary request is approved.
“The difference between what was received and the Shs17 million is what we are yet to release. Unfortunately, this money was not appropriated, and it means we have to come back here for a supplementary of Shs112 billion,” he said.
Members of Parliament were however not convinced by the minister’s statement on disbursing the funds in installments.
According to Paulson Luttamaguzi, the Nakaseke South MP, giving money in bits will not adequately meet the purpose. He says planting seasons change and government needs to look at this.
“There is no money – that is what they cannot tell you. You bring the money in the offseason, and you bring it in bits; this is what we do not understand. If I tell you I am giving you a cow, but you bring a tail, is this still the same?” he asked.