A total of Shs560 billion has been provided for the procurement of vaccines, said Hon. Amos Lugoloobi the newly appointed Minister of State for Planning and Finance designate.
He said Thursday that despite the adverse impact of the COVID19 pandemic, the economy remains resilient, partly as a result of quick and strong Government response.
To minimize the negative impact of COVID 19 on the social and economic welfare of the country, direct fiscal interventions totalling 2.6 trillion were implemented.
In addition, 7.3 trillion private loans in commercial banks were restructured, as part of the stimulus package.
Excerpt of his budget speech:
The economic stimulus supported (i) household economic welfare; (ii) firms to survive the crisis; and (iii) maintenance of financial stability to avoid the potential collapse of the economy.
- Mr. Speaker, during the COVID19 pandemic, vulnerable groups in the Kampala Metropolitan Area were provided relief food and masks were distributed countrywide. Shs 60 billion was spent to fund food distribution to 683,000 households covering 1.9 million persons.
- The mitigation of the adverse impact of CoVID19 pandemic on health and education, was a key element of Government response. 964,000 doses of CoVID vaccines were procured, and mass vaccination has began following the priority accorded to most vulnerable categories of the population. Today 733,923 persons have received their first dose of the vaccine and 40,895 have completed both doses. Clinical trials of a locally researched treatment is also underway. To ensure continuity of education during the COVID19 pandemic, distance learning has been used based on electronic platforms including Television and online classes. Digital platforms are also in use for inspection and supervision of schools.
- To support recovery of business, Private sector loans totaling Shs. 7.3 trillion, representing 43% of all loans, had repayments postponed, a quarter of which were loans in Tourism, Trade, and Commerce. Tax relief totalling Shs 2 trillion was provided to businesses disrupted by COVID19. In addition, Government paid Shs. 677 billion in arrears to private sector firms it owed in order to ease their liquidity. The Uganda Development Bank was allocated Shs. 555 billion to finance manufacturing, agribusinesses and other private sector firms affected by the CoVId19 pandemic.
33.Seed capital amounting to Shs. 416 billion was provided to the youth, women entrepreneurs and Emyooga. A total of 6,394 Emyooga SACCOs in 349 constituencies have received Shs. 200 billion.
69.Mr. Speaker, the immediate health need we are faced with is ensuring containment of the CoVID19 pandemic. Widespread vaccination and the enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures are the only preventative measures that guarantee protection against CoVID19. The initial target is to vaccinate at least 6 million most vulnerable persons comprised of teachers, health workers, the elderly and persons with chronic ailments. Shs. 560 billion has been provided for the procurement of vaccines.
- To enhance the commendable job by the health sector in dealing with the COVID19 pandemic, interventions to improve health workers’ skills and work environment will be prioritised. In addition, health infrastructure will be maintained and systems strengthened to ensure increased efficiency and effectiveness in health care delivery. The use of digital technology will play a key part in not only delivering health skills training, but also in improving systems for greater efficiency.
71.Mr. Speaker, other priorities of the health sector next year include the following:-
i. Upgrade Forty-three (43) health facilities and construct new Health Centre IIIs in sixty (60) sub-counties. To ensure functionality, the recruitment of additional staff for each of the upgraded health facility has been arranged;
ii. Construction and equipping of the Uganda Heart Institute at Mulago will be completed and the Regional Oncology and Diagnostic Centre in Gulu by the Uganda Cancer Institute will be established;
iii. Ensure adequate supply and delivery of essential medicines and health supplies.
The National Medical Stores budget has been increased from Shs 420.3 billion this fiscal year to Shs.600.3 billion next financial year.