News | The Northern Link UG| Parliament has directed the finance minister to urgently present policy documents and guidelines for the implementation of the Parish Development Model-PDM. President Yoweri Museveni officially launched the Parish Development Model at Kibuku district headquarters on Saturday last week.
Under the program, each parish in the country will receive a revolving fund of Shillings 100 million to support income-generating activities at the household level. However, on Tuesday, the Bukooli County Central MP Solomon Silwany triggered a heated debate in the House when he queried how Post Bank was procured to manage the disbursement of funds to parishes.
Eddie Kwizera, the Bukimbiri County MP suggested that the Minister of Local Government presents before parliament the policy that should be debated by the House for proper management of the Parish Development Model and accountability of funds.
Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition agreed with Kwizera and demanded that the government presents the guidelines of the model to the House for scrutiny before the program is implemented. He said that it is illogical to give Shillings 100 million to each parish in disregard of the population sizes.
Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for Finance-General Duties assured MPs that the money under the Parish Development Model will be disbursed directly from the Ministry of Finance to the accounts of the parishes without intermediaries.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among directed that the policy and guidelines on the Parish Development Model are tabled for scrutiny. She said that parliament will dedicate Thursday’s plenary to debate the Parish Development Model.
The Shillings 490 billion PDM replaces Emyooga, a presidential initiative on wealth and job creation which was rolled out in October 2020 to support among others, market vendors, welders, taxi drivers, boda-boda riders, women, and restaurant owners who come together in form of SACCOS.
It is an extension of the approach to development as envisaged under the National Development Plan III, with the parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services closer to the people and hence fostering local economic development.
There are over 10,594 parishes in the country. Under the initiative, each parish is supposed to receive Shillings17 million in the current financial year to start the implementation of the program. According to the plan, each parish will receive Shillings 100 million with effect from the next financial year.
The launch of the program also operationalized parish Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOS) through which people will be able to obtain financing for development.