Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament’s Gender, Labor and Social Development Committee has recommended that the government allocates 45.58 billion Shillings to facilitate the planned national roll out of the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE).
This is in line with a plan by the Gender Ministry to roll out the scheme, which was initially piloted in 15 districts, before expanding to cover 60 out of the more than 100 districts across the country. Under the scheme, older persons who were 65 years and above and those who were 60 years and above in Karamoja region, were given a monthly stipend of 25,000 Shillings.
According to the report of Parliament’s Gender Committee on the National Budget Framework paper for the coming financial year 2020/2021, there is no allocation of the required 45.58 billion Shillings to facilitate the SAGE program.
Committee Chairperson Alex Ndeezi says that the Ministry has prepared a national rollout plan which requires 45.58 billion Shillings to cater for additional 204,771 beneficiaries. He argues that without the funds, it will not be possible to rollout SAGE across the country.
The Social Development Sector under the Ministry of Gender has been allocated a proposed budget of 172.47 billion Shillings, reflecting a 46.68 billion Shillings cut in funding.
The Gender Committee report will be presented before the Budget committee before a general parliament debate on the financial year 2020/2021 proposed National Budget Framework paper.
Meanwhile, the committee also wants a budgetary allocation of 4 billion Shillings for the establishment of regional cultural centres in a three-year phased manner. The committee says that construction of regional cultural centres are fundamental to diversifying the benefits accruing from the development of the creative industry.