TANZANIA UNVEILS 32.946TRN/- BUDGET, FOCUSES ON FLAGSHIP PROJECTS

The Tanzanian government has unveiled the 32.946trn/- National Development Plan Proposal and Budget Framework for 2017/2018, with special focus on execution of various flagship projects.

Presenting the framework before parliamentarians here, Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Philip Mpango, said the 19.782tri/- is planned for recurrent expenditure, with the remaining 13.164trn/- that accounts for 40 per cent of the total budget directed to development projects.

Under the new proposal, the government aims at raising its expenditure next year by about 12 per cent from this financial year's 29.54tri/-. Dr Mpango said the government remains determined to intensify revenue collection strategies to raise more revenues to finance the government's budget.

Some of the measures, according to the minister, include identifying new sources of revenues, revisiting all contracts with tax exemptions and intensifying the monitoring systems at all tax collecting points, including the ports, airports and borders.

The minister said the projects on which the government envisages throwing its full weight for smooth execution include the Central Line Standard Gauge, Liganga Iron Ore and Mchuchuma Coal Mine and Liquefied Natural Gas Plant project in Lindi.

He told the House that the government plans to raise 20.872tri/-, which accounts for about 63 per cent of the tentative budget, from domestics sources, including local government authorities own sources, with other funds received as grants and concessional loans from development partners and external nonconcessional loans.

Dr Mpango asserted that the framework aims at transforming the economy into the real middle income status through sustaining macroeconomic stability and developing industries for job creation.

"We look forward to improved basic infrastructure for provision of water, power and transportation to bolster industrial development as well as raise agricultural production to supply industries with the required raw materials," he noted.

With the government still allocating 40 per cent of the total budget for development projects, the minister said the proposal focuses on creating conducive environment for business and investment to attract domestic and foreign investors in industrial and agricultural sectors.

The minister also affirmed the government was working round the clock to ensure GDP annual growth rate hits 7.5 in 2017, 7.9 in 2018 and 8.2 in 2019. The budget committee commended the government for coming up with the framework, which signals the state commitment to transform the country into an industrial economy.

The committee, in a speech read by its chairperson Hawa Ghasia, advised the government to tighten controls against imports of products which can be domestically manufactured. She said it was high time the state imposed heavy taxes on such imports to discourage their importation and encourage local manufacturing.

On the other hand, the committee also warned the government against undertaking many projects at once, advising instead to focus on few priorities and important projects.

"The government should choose few projects to accomplish instead of running loads of activities which sometimes remain unfinished," advised Ms Ghasia, calling on the government to convene a meeting with owners of all defunct factories to chart out the best strategies to revive them.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK