Government has come up with a smart plan to annex people’s idle money under the National Payments System Bill of 2019. The bill is set to be put into law and upon implementation, a huge section of Ugandans are likely to lose what government has pronounced as ‘idle money’ sleeping on bank accounts.
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Under the bill, money which spends close to 2 years on a bank account and is unclaimed ceases to belong to the owner and shall be annexed and re-allocated to the National consolidation fund.
The proponents of this bill argue that there are lots of unclaimed money lying idle on bank accounts yet this can be incorporated to the consolidated fund and be put to proper use by government.
In the same bill, even mobile money cash which is idle in a space of 7 months shall be channelled to the government coffers as the state shall rule that the owner is disinterested in the money.
Econonic analysts have however express their discontent with the bill saying it will implore the grassroot people to resort to traditional means of storing money. “People will be forced to keep money in pots or under their beds. This bill is a huge blow to the banking system. In economics, there is nothing like idle money. Banks use people’s savings to issue loans,” says one economist. “Besides, this bill does not cater for Ugandans living abroad as they may leave their money on their local accounts and take long to claim it. Even Ugandans in prisons serving long sentences are not catered for,” he adds.
However, government under this same bill says relatives of the affected people especially those who would die have a chance of 7 years to convince the banks that they are the next of kins entitled to that money.