PLAN TO GIVE NEW MPS SHS300M CAR MONEY INFURIATES KEY M7 ADVISOR
BY Charles Joseph
The plan by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to avail Sh165 billion to finance the newly elected and re-elected MP’s budget for cars has encountered opposition from one of President Yoweri Museveni’s top advisers who argues that the money should instead be channeled to fund activities that directly boost economic growth and development.
Ramathan Goobi on Wednesday said Uganda is still struggling to come out of the effects of the January 14 general elections and spending such huge amounts of money on luxuries is uneconomical.
Goobi who was speaking during NBS television’s Morning Breeze show said Uganda’s young population has slowly loosing hope and the money set to be pumped into Parliament to finance the occupants of the 11th Parliament’s motor vehicle allowances should have been budgeted to benefit youth seeking for income generating activities.
In the arrangement, each of the 520 MPs who will sit in the 11th Parliament is expected to pocket a cool Sh320 million in vehicle allowances. The Minister said although the money has not yet been budgeted for, the government will use all avenues to avail the cash since the MPs need transport particularly those elected for the first time.
But Goobi contested the decision saying such ‘wasteful’ spending will only deny sectors that directly contribute to the growth of the economy money. He particularly said Ugandan youth have lost hope due to the limited economic opportunities at their disposal to exploit their skills and make a living.
Kasaija said every MP must get a car but although the amount each lawmaker will get will be determined by the Parliamentary Commission in which he is a member. The Minister said if the government fails to provide the Sh320 million for each MP, the government will give at least half of the mount. Goobi said the new MP should give priority to making of laws that promote economic growth for the country to spring-up its revenue.
Museveni on his part, Goobi said should appoint ambassadors who should be tasked to look for markets in the various countries they are posted abroad to enable Ugandans engaged in production export their products.
The Sh320 million for the new MPs’ cars is captured in the Budget Framework Paper for the Financial Year 2021/2022. The item is captured as among the critical items in the budget but which are not funded. The compensation for cattle lost in Teso, Acholi and Lango are other unfunded items in the proposed budget. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com)