HomeBUSINESSParliament committee on Trade Tourism and Industry grills ministry officials over the...

Parliament committee on Trade Tourism and Industry grills ministry officials over the theft of money meant for compensation for the destruction and loss, incurred during the 1986 National Resistance Army insurgency.

By Jimmy Muhumuza 

Paliament 

While interfacing with ministry officials led by State Minister for Cooperatives Fredrick Ngobi Gume during the presentation of the ministry’s Budget Framework Paper for the Financial Year 2022/23, 

Busujju County Member of Parliament David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga tasked Gume to investigate the disappearance of the 5 billion that was allegedly paid out to members of Wamala Growers Cooperative Union found in Wabigalo Mityana in the last financial year.

The minister noted that out of 23 billion shillings that the union is demanding in claims, verification was done, and subsequently, 5 billion shillings were paid out to members.

Kalwanga however noted that there is nothing on the ground to show that the money was actually paid out adding that he has received numerous complaints from members that the money was fleeced by top officials in the ministry in connivance with some of the union leaders.

In his response, the state minister for cooperatives Fredrick Ngobi Gume agreed to organize a meeting next week on Tuesday with all the relevant stakeholders to sort out the matter.

Wamala Growers Cooperative Union provides modernized agriculture, access to inputs, market, and credits.

The Trade, Industry and Cooperatives sector has been allocated a budget ceiling of ShsShs154.4billion, which according to Minister Gume is substantially low to enable the realization of the sector’s mandate. The Ministry wants additional funding of Shs498.3billion to spur the country to rapid development.

 Furthermore, the Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon Francis Mwijukye also demanded that the Ministry of Trade speeds up the process of drafting the two trade bills, but expressed fears that most of the time good laws are passed and there are no funds to implement them despite the inline Ministers providing certificates of financial implication.

“What happened to the consumer protection bill? We now have many fake products on the market, some of which are certified by UNBS. We need to push for this legislation to protect our people from consuming harmful products,” Mwijukye said

Minister Bahati concurred on the need to prioritize the consumer protection and competition bills. He promised to bring the two bills to Parliament as soon as possible. 

“We are going to move very fast to ensure that we sort out this issue of the consumer protection law. But also, we want to bring new regulations and laws that will rejuvenate the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. So we need resources to do all this work,” 

Bahati said, adding that supply of substandard goods and non-value added products is the reason Uganda’s exports are struggling to access international markets.

The Trade and Industry sector has been allocated a budget ceiling of ShsShs154.4billion, which according to Minister Bahati is substantially low to enable the realization of the sector’s mandate. 

The Ministry wants additional funding of Shs498.3billion to spur the country to rapid development. 

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