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How 10,594 parishes will share Shs1 trillion

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By Franklin Draku

With effect from next month, each of the 10,594 parishes in the country will receive Shs19.1m under the new government Parish Development Model initiative. This is part of Shs200b Parliament approved in May.
However, the President on Friday proposed to increase the share for each parish of about 4,000 people to Shs100m per year with effect from Financial Year 2022/2023.
The President met NRM MPs in Kampala to discuss ways of ensuring that the new Parish Development Model works for the people he categorised as “food-to-mouth” group.
“I know it’s a bit late right now, but my appeal is that we put Shs100m per Parish per year which is equivalent to Shs1 trillion per year,” Mr Museveni said.
“We have got a budget of Shs44 trillion, so what is wrong with giving Shs1 trillion to our people to fight poverty? I demand that because I have been in this struggle for 60 years… I appeal to this Parliament to support this subject. Let’s support the parish model,” he added.
Museveni told MPs that he studied the parish model for a long time and that for the last 60 years, he has been engaged in programmes to drive out poverty from communities.
He said for a long time, the beneficiaries of the government programmes have never been given chance to decide what they want to do, but fed on interventions designed by the state.
He said now is the time for them to take charge of what they want to do through the parish development model.
He added: “We are shifting from deciding for the people who are the key stakeholders to them making decisions for themselves. The only thing we shall do is giving them information on markets and where they can sell.” Each parish, according to sources close to Ministry of Finance, will be asked to form a development committee to oversee the management of the public funds and also come up with priority projects tailored to the peoples’ needs.
The money will be put in a parish Sacco which will be used as a general purpose vehicle for improving household incomes through agricultural production.
The President said the funds under the PDM will be accessed without stringent conditions and that each member must belong to a particular parish Sacco to access the funds.
He said a team of parish development committee will be set up to manage the development programmes in the parishes. The Saccos will be supervised by Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority.
Details of how much each individual will borrow have not been released even as the President talked of interest of 1 per cent on the total amount borrowed.
Mr Museveni said this is much lower than the current 5 per cent on Youth Livelihood Funds (YLF) and Women Empowerment Programme (WEP) under Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development.
The new anti-poverty initiative targets the 68 per cent of Ugandans who are currently locked outside the money economy.  However, the President, while meeting NRM Caucus members, quoted latest figures from statistics authority, indicating that Ugandans in subsistence farming now stands at 39 per cent.
According to the programme guideline, this money will not be given to individuals, but it will be a revolving fund, borrowed and returned for other members to use.
Mr Museveni told MPs that his government has been implemented different programmes to fight poverty in the past, but it has always been driven by government officials.
He said the new PDM will place locals at the centre of decision- making.
The President tasked the ministries of Finance and that of Local Government to make sure a percentage of the funds are ring-fenced for the youth and women in the parishes.
“In all the previous interventions, it was the government people who decided who got what. This created a lot problems. Secondly the problem has been who buys the inputs and again here it was the government people buying the inputs. So this time, the farmers will be in charge of their own procurements,”  he said.

Allocations
• Total budget allocated for 2021/22  (Shs200 billion)
• Each parish (Shs19.1m)
• Museveni’s proposed increment (Shs1.1 trillion per year)
• Total number of parishes (10,594)
• Average population per parish (4,000)

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