The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has summoned the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija to explain why beneficiaries of the covid-19 stimulus package have not received it.
Last year, the Ministry of Finance tabled a proposal before the House requesting to borrow over Shs1trn purposely to help Ugandans in different sectors whose businesses had been struck by the pandemic Covid-19.
The money was meant to boost their businesses and also foot loans. Among the beneficiaries included schools, those with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, those dealing in transport among others.
However, according to Atiku Bernard the Member of Parliament (MP) Ayivu County, only a few beneficiaries have accessed the said package and even those that have received it got peanuts and they were selected because of the strong connections they have with some big figures in the Ministry of Finance.
While on the floor of the House on Tuesday, Atiku said that many private school owners are crying for help as commercial banks are taking their properties yet Parliament passed some money which was meant to help them to overcome loan interests.
“When the President asked Bank of Uganda to stop commercial banks from soliciting loans, they adhered. However, the case of interests was not considered which has accumulated the amount of money thus making it hard for some schools owners to pay off such loans, therefore Madam Speaker the school owners are crying to us, to also consider them on the stimulus package so that they can pay off the interests. Such that when the time for resuming comes, they can operate normally,” he said.
Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga MP Mukono South also supported Atiku’s argument alluding that the money which was passed to support people’s’ businesses that were on the verge of collapsing have never received it and even don’t know where to access it from.
“Many private operators of schools have been waiting for the stimulus package because we passed here a reasonable sum of money but to our dismay, we were surprised when we had that they are selecting some schools without even consulting the District Educational Officers (DEO) to come out with the list of private schools,” Muyanja said.
It is from this point that Kadaga was forced to summon the minister of Finance to explain the criteria those that accessed money went through and why some have not received it.
“I don’t see the Minister of Finance here however I recall the House passing that money and we have been asking where is the stimulus package and how can it be accessed? Last week I read in the press that the Central Bank had given some relief to the commercial banks for Covid relief and it think they were dealing with interest rates but no one has come to brief us. The people are asking us where is the stimulus package? I think the House needs to where it went,” she said.
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