Opposition calls for Scraping of Agricultural Credit Facility from Budget

Leader of Opposition Hon. Winnie Kiiza with Opposition Chief whip Hon. Ssemujju Nganda

The Opposition has proposed that the Agricultural Credit Facility should be scrapped arguing that it only benefits the privileged leaving the ones who need it out.

This was one of the proposals presented by the Leader of the Opposition, Winfred Kiiza to the Budget Committee as part of the Opposition’s  response to the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) for the Financial Year 2018/2019-2022/23.

The Opposition proposed that the funds towards establishing a National Bank for Agricultural Transformation adding that priority should be placed on training and recruitment of biomedical engineers.

“This will improve equipment functionality and subsequently proper disease diagnosis,” said Kiiza.

She added that shs3 billion should be availed in 2018/2019 financial year to start preparation and implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

, Kizza proposed that government should institute and gazette a Salary Review Commission to deal with issues relating to salary discrepancies and control selective awards across the service.

“The pay reforms should be complemented by efficiency audits of civil servants in government agencies; this will improve performance, reduce redundancy of labour and eliminate ghost civil servants, “said Kizza.

The Leader of Opposition further proposed that Uganda Police Force should be facilitated to recruit more manpower. She said that the police population ratio stands at 1:900 which is far below the UN recommended ratio of 1:500.

“It is not surprising that paramilitary outfits such as Boda Boda 2010 and crime preventers are emerging to fill the gap without any enabling law,” said Kiiza.

She added that recruitment of police manpower should only be undertaken on the premise that there will be professionalism, improved efficiency and prioritization of deployment to high crime rate centers as opposed to containing activities of the Opposition.

The committee welcomed the proposals, saying that they are nationalistic.

“The Opposition has made a very good diagnosis of the priority areas and the committee should act on it,” said Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo district).

Godfrey Katusabe (Bukonzo West) urged the committee to consider the recommendations made.

“I encourage the Chairperson to give due attention to the recommendations made by the Opposition,” said Katusabe.

Margaret Komuhangi (Nakasongola district) raised concern over the procedure of acquiring agricultural facilities, saying the procedure is very tedious and benefits a few.

“This committee should meet with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to devise ways of making the facility accessible to all farmers,” said Komuhangi.

The Committee Chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi said that the committee will adopt some of the recommendations.

“The committee will make good use of this document because it reminds us of commitments in the past that have not been implemented,” said Lugoloobi.

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