The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Betty Aol Ochan has supported the idea of forming zonal funding for import substitution in lower communities.
Aol revealed this in an interview with Watchdog Uganda after budget reading on Thursday at Kampala Serena Conference Centre where she said that the only way for Uganda to have a pro-people budget is to support households in lower communities through funding their economic activities.
“Uganda’s budget reading day is now a ritual because the biggest percentage is borrowed money. But if we help the lower communities as President has said that would be a good idea,” said Aol.
While giving his remarks after the Budget reading, Museveni showed little interest in the Budget matters and fund allocations but asked religious, cultural and political leaders to encourage their lower communities to start working so that they can also contribute to the budget.
“It’s very unfortunate that out of the 40 million Ugandans only 14.4 million people contributed to this budget. This means we need to empower the rest because they are the biggest consumers, I will not support this idea of empowerment, people must work leaders only need to sensitise them on what is selling at the market in this modernized world,” said Museveni.
As one of the ways of supporting lower communities, Museveni said in his ongoing tour, he has pledged to start funding groups of specialized skills.
“I have pledged to create three new additional wealth job creation funds. These will be zonal funds for import substitution through value addition; the Emyooga (specialized skills/trades),” he added.
According to Museveni, the first zonal funds will be given to the following 15 activities:
1. Boda Boda Association;
2. Women Entrepreneurs’ Association;
3. Carpenters’ Association;
4. Salon Operators’ Association;
5. Taxi Operators’ Association;
6. Restaurant Association;
7. Welders’ Association;
8. Market Vendors’ Association;
9. Youth Leaders’ SACCO;
10. PWDs’ Association;
11. Produce Dealers’ Association;
12. Mechanics’ Association;
13. Tailors’ Association;
14. Media operators;
15. Performing Arts and Musicians.
However, Aol urged Museveni to also thinks of civil servants without discriminating political parties because their salaries are also not promising.
“President must also look at civil servants of the entire population is to be considered,” she added.