The Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry has threatened the Trade Industry and Cooperatives Ministry budget for alleged failure to allocate funds to key sectors under it. It came after officials from the Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority disclosed that they were finding it difficult to execute their mandate due to limited funding.
While presenting their policy statement to the Committee, Debora Kyarisima, the Executive Director Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority, said they only receive Shillings 905 million as their annual budget compared to the required Shillings 2.7 billion. According to Kyarisima, some of their approved projects have never kicked off because both the Trade and Finance Ministry say there is no money.
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Alex Ruhunda, the Trade, Tourism and Industry Committee Chairperson and Fort Portal Municipality MP, says the Authority has suffered abuse for the last 11 years due to underfunding. He says although the Authority has got roles like promoting access to affordable financing through regulated inventory credit, Improving the quality and standards of traded agricultural, it cannot play its roles because of limited funding, which ends up paying staff.
He warned that they will block the budget of the Trade Ministry unless it carter for the budget of Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority.
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He asked the Authority to come up with an Ideal budget, without thinking about the restrictions from the Finance Ministry, adding that as it stands, Ugandans need to get the benefit of the authority. The Trade Ministry has a budgetary allocation of Shillings 94.107 billion representing 0.46 percent of the Shillings 20trillion National Budget for the Fiscal Year 2016/17.
Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority (UWRSA) was established by an Act of Parliament (WRS ACT 2006) as the regulator of Warehouse Receipt System. The Authority is supervised by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and closely collaborates with other Agencies under the same Ministry.
UWRSA's main role is to regulate and promote the Warehouse Receipt System through partnership with the private sector mainly warehouse operators, producers and financial institutions.