• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

A Ray of Hope as Government Devises Means to Curb the Surge in Living Costs

UGANDA, Kampala Real Muloodi NewsMatia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, has given Ugandans hope that there will be a reduction in living costs. The government plans to institute policy measures to limit the impact of the global pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and other factors affecting the economy’s input and output.

Members of Parliament recently asked the government to account for the rising commodities costs. They said that the continued silence by ministers showed that they were insensitive to the plight of the people. The MPs called upon the Ministers of Trade, Agriculture, and Foreign affairs to explain the hike in living costs.

‘When we talked of fuel prices, government assured us of a comprehensive report on monitoring mechanisms that will deter fuel dealers from hiking the prices. It is now a month but we do not see any change,’ Mohammed Nsereko, the Kampala Central Member of Parliament, said.

Inflation has been blamed on economic and political disruptions.

A press statement dated March 22nd, 2022, by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, addressed the nation’s rising process of essential goods and services such as cooking oil, soap, milk and fuel among others.

Between December 2021 and February 2021, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) registered a rise in the price of cooking oil by 21%. This shows how much the commodity’s price has gone high quickly. The steady increase in prices has pushed Uganda’s inflation from 2.7% to 3.2%.

Therefore, the Minister announced Uganda is taking advantage of the series of global crises to promote the local manufacturing of some goods it would otherwise import

“We are working with private sector to produce domestically some of these intermediate goods used to produce most of the affected goods such as cooking oil & soap,” Kasaija said.

Further, the Bank of Uganda stands ready to act to ensure inflation stays within its 5% target, according to the Minister. However for now, the Bank has maintained the Central Bank Rate (CBR) at 6.5%, announced at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of 12 April 2022.

The government is also considering regulating fuel-price movements and instituting probes into artificial supply shortages caused by unscrupulous speculators taking advantage of the economic situation for their own gains.

The minister continued to say that inflation has risen everywhere globally and Uganda’s rise in prices is much lower compared with current global trends. He noted that the increase in prices was mainly caused by the Covid-19 restrictions, which disrupted supply chains. The transport system was affected, affecting the prices of all other goods and services.

The opening of economies also led to a rapid rise in demand for fast-moving goods (FMGs), increasing prices. The Russia-Ukraine conflict worsened the situation by disrupting the supply of oil.

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