The number of people that could be pushed into poverty is estimated at approximately 780, 000 – Hon. Matia Kasaija.
“To deal with the financing gap in the Government budgets for FY 2019/20 and FY 2020/21, Ministry of Finance will seek for a budget support loan on concessional terms worth US$ 100 , million for FY 2019/20 and US$ 90 million for FY 2020/21 from the World Bank.” This was a statement by Hon. Matia Kasaija (Minister of Finance) while presenting a statement on the economic impact of COVID-19 on Uganda to Parliament.
The Minister told the August House that the biggest impact on the economy would be on the services sector, noting that; “travel restrictions are already affecting the tourism sector including hotels, accommodation and transportation. Supply chain disruptions are hampering trade, and this is expected to continue until the virus is contained at the global level.”
The Minister revealed to the House that the low activity in industry and services sectors would result into loss of jobs further leading to a decline in economic growth and an increase in the level of poverty, noting that; “The number of people that could be pushed into poverty is estimated at approximately 780, 000.”
Regarding the revenue collections, the Minister noted that the country would register an additional shortfall of about UGX 82.4 billion for the remaining period of the FY20l9/20 (March-June) and about UGX 187 .6 billion in FY2020/21 assuming that the corona virus does not enter Uganda or that it is quickly contained hence avoiding widespread infections within the population.
The members in response asked the minister to come up with measures to ensure that the citizens with loans are provided with favorable terms of paying the standing loans, businesses don’t take advantage of the COVID-19 to hike the cost of goods and services, Government looks into the high rising numbers of unemployment in the country, the fate of paying rent given the economic situation in the country among other concerns.
The Minister in response assured members that the Government was in charge of the situation and that it was going to do all within its means to ensure that the concerns raised by members are addressed accordingly. The Minister promised to provide a full statement before Parliament next week after attending the cabinet meeting.