Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government has been urged to develop a clear equitable allocation formula for funds under the Parish Development Model (PDM) that takes into consideration different demographic, geographical and socio-economic dynamics.
According to Parliament’s Committee on Public Service and Local Government, the criteria for allocation of the funds is not based on equity and may not be helpful to some parishes.
“Government proposes to give parishes the same amount of money regardless of the variations in demographics and geographical size including unique needs of the various parishes and different poverty levels,” reads the committee report in part.
The report was presented to the House on Thursday, 25 August 2022 by committee chairperson, Godfrey Onzima, in a sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa.
The report premised on the implementation of the PDM in the Financial Year 2021/2022.
The committee found that there is selective focus on pillar three of PDM on financial inclusion through the Parish Revolving Fund, at the expense of the six other pillars.
The report cited pillar five on mindset change that has not been prioritised, which it observed, would prepare citizens and clarify upcoming concerns before funds are disbursed.
“Government should equally focus on changing the mindset of implementers of the PDM and citizens while showing linkages of other pillars to each other to ensure complementarity,” it added.
Onzima said: “Government should develop a comprehensive policy framework that sets and links PDM objectives to specific implementation modalities and targeted outputs and outcomes.”
He also presented a statement to the House on the diversion of the Shs17 million for PDM in Financial Year 2021/2022 following concerns raised by Kilak South County MP, Gilbert Olanya.
Olanya, on 12 July 2022, raised a matter of national importance concerning diversion of Shs17 million PDM funds to payment of salaries in Amuru District Local Government, which was expounded by other MPs on less funds received for PDM in their districts.
Onzima said the committee received submissions from Chief Administrative Officers of the district local governments of Amuru, Hoima, Kamuli, Gomba and Gulu.
He added that the alleged case of misuse of PDM funds by district local governments was an isolated case in Amuru district.
Onzima noted that the Amuru District Local Government Accounting Officer did not follow instructions by the Secretary to the Treasury, to repurpose Shs75.1 million meant for gadgets and tools towards the Parish Revolving Fund.
“The committee recommends that the Chief Accounting Officer should be audited on the usage of these funds,” Onzima said.
The State Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (Planning) Amos Lugoloobi, said the Parish Development Management Information System (PDMIS) has been designed to track daily transactions in the PDM SACCOs.
“If the system is effectively used, the tool will provide full accountability and traceability for Parish Revolving Funds,” the minister said.
He noted that the focus of funding under PDM is only on the 39 per cent of subsistence households in every parish, with a mission to transform these households into the money economy.
He added that for the Parish Revolving Fund in Financial Year 2022/2023, Shs25 million per parish will be disbursed in quarters one and three whereas Shs50 million will be disbursed in quarter two.
“Disbursements shall only be made to properly established and ready PDM SACCOs which are duly registered under the Cooperative Societies Act and issued with certificates of registration by the Registrar of Cooperatives,” Lugoloobi said.
Legislators seconded the idea of emphasising mindset change and education of the population on the ideology of the PDM and necessary requirements to benefit from it.
“As a House, we should come up with mechanisms of sensitising our voters and the people on the ground who will manage these funds,” said Cecilia Ogwal.
“I request Cabinet to review the sensitisation programme on PDM because many people have misunderstood how it works,” added Brenda Namukuta, Kaliro district MP.
The Deputy Speaker urged the finance minister to engage Enterprise Uganda to train them on entrepreneurial aspects so as to effectively utilise the PDM funds.
“If we want this money to be a revolving fund to benefit people through business especially around the agricultural sector, then we need to train our people on business mindset change,” Tayebwa said.
He also tasked the Ministers for Local Government, Finance and Agriculture to make presentations to the Opposition caucus of Parliament on the PDM, so as to ensure clarity of the programme.
SOURCE: UGANDA PARLIAMENT MEDIA