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Youth Leaders: Government Cannot Deliver Vision 2040

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“Form the onset, the very first national budget is largely anti-poor,” said Uganda People Congress’s Smith Ongom, adding, “All it did was release the entire tax burden from the middle class to the poor man.”


The Finance Ministry came under immense scrutiny from Members of Parliament, Civil society and the general public, for introduction of excise duty on Kerosene and piped water, of which in the view of many was to frustrate the ordinary person.


Idris Mpagi of the Conservative Party faulted the National Planning Authority for failure to involve the public through nationwide consultations during the formulation of Vision 20140.


He added that a vision in which people are not actively involved right from the start has many chances of varnishing along the way.


The concerns were raised in a debate organized by Interparty Youth Platform along with Konrad Adenauer Siftung at Imperial Royale in Kampala , running under the theme “The National Budget 2013/2014: Kick starting Vision 2040.”


The youth also noted that without a proper structure of procedures and a minimum wage bill in place, government planned students loan scheme is another flop in waiting.


“Without a minimum wage it would imply that upon finishing campus you might have to work forever for government and by the time the loan is cleared, you have already hit retirement age,” said Lawyer Ongom.


PPP’s Jean Ngobi maintained that government should be in position to train its young population since it is the same labor that would contribute towards national income.


Alex Kaweesa of NRM however, insisted that the national budget is of no relevance to Ugandans if they themselves cannot budget for their own little incomes.


He added that government’s concentration of funds to infrastructural development (rather than agriculture which employs over 70 percent of youth dominated Ugandan population) is only meant to foster robust production and easy marketing of rural agricultural products.


The government was also attacked for its ‘reluctance in development of Information Technology amongst the youth.


“How would you even convince us in the Vision 2040 that government intends to spread computer knowledge to youths right from primary schools when we still have pupils studying under tree sheds,” charged Ongom.


In defense of his ruling party, Kaweesa said the ICT ministry has just been introduced and thus asked Ugandans to settle down in government dynamics.

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