President Yoweri Museveni will on February 26, launch the Parish Development Model (PDM) in Kibuku district.
The launch of the Shs 490 billion PDM meant to eradicate poverty through execution of development activities at the parishes, was announced by the Minister of Local Government, Hon Raphael Magyezi, during the House sitting on Tuesday, 15 presided by Deputy Speaker Anita Among.
Magyezi said there will be launch of parish Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOS) through which people will be able to obtain financing for development.
“We have 10,594 parishes. The money in the budget for the revolving fund is Shs 17m per parish and is with the Chief Administrative Officer,” said Magyezi.
According to Magyezi, the launch will include a demonstration of the parish based Management Information System and commissioning of the Community Tractor Scheme, a key pillar of the parish model that seeks to boost productivity.
The minister revealed that beneficiaries would access the funds via their SACCOs immediately after the launch and added that there are pre-launch activities on going across the country like distribution of bicycles to LC1 and LCII chairpersons and motorcycles to LCIII chairpersons.
He said government was confident in the model’s ability to catapult the economy, adding it was the first programme that binds all ministries operating at a parish level.
“This is the very first programme we are going to have where all ministries are going to participate with respect to their sectors at the parish level. You may think that production is under agriculture only but you need water, energy for processing of products and roads to transfer products to the markets” said Magyezi.
There was a concern among a section of MPs that the National Budget Framework Paper does not reflect sufficient money to realise the envisaged outcomes of the parish model.
“We know the parish model is supposed to drive this economy supporting those below the poverty line, but we have just been going through the National Budget Framework Paper and there are already gaps with funding of the parish model. This should match with the available resources,” said Pakwach district MP, Jane Avur Pacuto.
Padyere County MP, Isaac Otimgiw said, “From the supplementary budget we passed, town councils were given Shs 50m, sub-counties were given Shs 30m but just for preliminary administrative purposes. So after that, where are they getting money to operate?”
Magyezi acknowledged that the new sub-counties and town councils have been allocated inadequate funds in the current budget and prayed that Parliament increase their budget in the Financial Year 2023/2024.
“The money which has been given is inadequate, but now that the new units are coded and thus recognised, in the future, we shall have a budget. We have made a request in the next year’s budget that each parish gets a Shs 100m” Magyezi said.
Commenting on the same, Among, urged MPs to play their oversight role throughout the life span of the parish model to ensure it realises its objective as opposed to leaving the mantle to government.