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National Budget 2024/25: Each parish to get additional Shs100m PDM money

Finance Minister Matia Kasaijathe reads the National Budget for the Financial Year 2024/2025 at Kololo Independence Grounds on June 13, 2024.

Kampala, (UG): The government of Uganda Thursday announced that a total of Shs1.059 trillion shall be provided for in the 2024/2025 budget for the Parish Development Model, a programme aimed at uplifting the household incomes of Ugandans countrywide.

The exciting news was announced by the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon Matia Kasaija on Thursday, June 13, at Kololo Independence Grounds while reading the country’s Budget for the Financial year 2024/2025.

The allocation of the Shs1.5tn means every parish in Uganda shall receive an additional Shs100 million for the PDM programme, which Kasaija said has now been fully rolled out across almost every parish in the country.

“…Country men and women under this category, take full advantage of the PDM and other wealth creation funds as well as other support services to join the money economy in any of the four sectors – commercial agriculture, industry, services, or ICT,” said Kasaija.

“A total of Shs2.4 trillion has so far been provided. The money is being transferred directly to the beneficiaries in 10,585 parishes across the country. The introduction of the WENDI Application, by the Government-owned Post Bank and its partners, has saved beneficiaries the inconvenience of travelling long distances to open up bank accounts or withdraw their money,” he added.

The minister said during this financial year, the government will also ensure effective implementation of Pillar One under the PDM which includes input certification, provision of extension services, storage, value addition, and market linkages.

According to Mr Kasaija, the WENDI Application has also enhanced transparency by providing full visibility and traceability for all the funds up to the last-mile beneficiary adding that the extensive mobile telephone coverage (both smartphones and ‘Kabiriti’) has helped to lower transaction costs for the PDM beneficiaries.

“Going forward, the government will deepen the use of WENDI and other digital technologies and innovations to enhance financial inclusion and drive efficiency, accessibility, and effectiveness of the programme. These technologies will gradually be extended to other wealth creation initiatives.”

“The total of 1.165 million households that have so far received PDM funds have invested in intensive agriculture projects that include poultry, dairy, coffee, piggery, fish, fruits and food crops. In the next few days, I will release the remaining Shs 529 billion for this financial year directly into the accounts of the PDM SACCOs. Each PDM SACCO will continue to receive Shs100 million.”

Mr Kasaija also announced that in the next Financial Year 2024/25, the government has provided an additional Shs100 billion under Emyooga to support more Ugandans to create wealth and boost their incomes.

In order to consolidate the gains so far achieved, the theme for the coming financial year has been maintained as: “Full Monetisation of Uganda’s Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialisation, Expanding and Broadening Services, Digital Transformation and Market Access”.

Status of the economy

Mr Kasaija, in his remarks on the status of the economy, said; “I am pleased to report that Uganda’s economy has fully recovered from various internal and external shocks that impacted performance in the past four years. GDP is projected to grow by 6 per cent this financial year 2023/24 compared to 5.3 per cent in FY2022/23. This year’s growth of 6 percent is even more impressive when compared to Sub-Saharan Africa’s average of 3.8 percent, and the global average of 2.9 percent projected for the year 2024.”

As a result of this robust growth, Kasaija said that the size of the economy is now estimated at Shs 202 trillion ($53.3 billion) up from Shs 184.3 trillion (USD 48.8 billion) in nominal terms. If Ugandans agreed to share this GDP equally, each citizen would enjoy a GDP per capita of $1,146 compared to $1,081 registered last Financial Year 2022/23.

Mr Kasaija explained that the improved performance of the economy is on account of higher growth in all sectors. Services, agriculture, and industry are estimated to grow at 6.6 percent, 5.1 percent, and 5.8 percent, respectively, in FY2023/24.

He said in particular, growth in the services sector has been impressive, mainly driven by a strong recovery in retail and wholesale trade, tourism as well as communication and real estate activities.

“Growth in the industry was mainly driven by manufacturing, construction and mining, while increased production of food and cash crops, as well as livestock supported growth in the agriculture sector. Agriculture’s performance, estimated to have expanded at 5.1 percent this year compared to 4.5 percent registered in FY2022/23, is attributed to the streamlined implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM); and fairly good weather conditions.”

Growth strategy for FY 2024/2025 and the medium term, Mr Kasaija said in line with the President’s guidance, the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development in collaboration with the National Planning Authority has developed a strategy for growing Uganda’s economy tenfold and the target is to expand the size of the economy from about $50 billion last year to $500 billion by 2040.

According to the Minister, the Government has identified four anchor sectors to drive this growth. These are: Agro-Industrialisation, Tourism Development, Mineral Development, including oil & gas, and Science Technology and Innovation (STI), including ICT.

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