TZ legislators perturbed by draft budget

tz budget

TZ Finance Minister Saada Mkuya with the new budget draft

 

The government has unveiled a Tsh22.48trillion (about US$11.32billion) draft budget to parliament, with an increase of Tsh2.6trillion over last year’s budget of sh. 19.8trillion, triggering off protest from the budget committee members.

This comes in the wake Finance Minister Saada Mkuya presenting the estimates in which she said 25.9 per cent of the budget (about sh. 5.769trillion) compared to sh. 7.7trillion last year will be spent on development projects and sh16.711trillion for recurrent spending.

According to the finance minister, the government expects to rise sh14.30trillion from internal sources of which sh13.353trillion will come from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and sh949.189billion will be generated from none- tax sources.

“Development partners and domestic loans will contribute sh1.888trillion and sh5.767trillion respectively,” she said.

However, for all her efforts, the Parliamentary Committee on Budget was not impressed: it expressed concern about the new budget estimate for 2015/16 financial year saying it will increase the burden on taxpayers.

Consequently, the committee urged the government to maintain the previous budget.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting which was chaired by Deputy Speaker Job Ndugai and attended by members of parliament, the budget committee chair Festus Limbu said the sh2.6trillion budget increase was “too much” for tax payers.

“We had appealed to the government to revisit the estimates, we wonder why there was that increase,” he told reporters. “We still have the opportunity to challenge the government when it will present its estimates before the committee.”

The Chairman said “this is a hectic year” considering government spending on the general election, Biometric Voters Registration (BVR), legislators salary arrears and other benefits.

He expressed concern that while last year the government tabled a sh7.7trillion budget for development projects, many institutions had received 38 per cent of the projected budget.

“You can be surprised, some ministries and other institutions have received less than 10 percent of the planned budget. About 23 institutions had not received any development funds from the government,” Limbu said.