PMO budget drops as Parliament’s soars

PRIME Minister’s Office has reduced its budget estimates for next fiscal year by 46.7bn/- to 124.95bn/- from the current 171.66bn/- as the Parliament’s estimates have increased by 3.87bn/-.

Moving the budget estimates for his office for the 2018/2019 financial year, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa (pictured) asked the Parliament to approve 124.95bn/-, out of which 66.16bn/- is for recurrent and 58.79bn/- for development expenditure.

The premier further asked Members of Parliament (MPs) to approve 125.52bn/- for the Parliament office, 117.2bn/- being for recurrent budget and 8.32bn/- for development. In the 2017/2018 fiscal year, the Parliament office was given 121.65bn/-. This means, next year, the requested amount for the legislative operations has increased by 3.87bn/-.

Moving the budget estimates here yesterday, the premier reiterated the government’s commitment to increase job opportunities to the people in the next budget, saying the state is currently preparing its robust strategic plan that seeks to have Tanzanians benefiting from all the biggest national development projects, currently implemented in the country.

Mr Majaliwa outlined various achievements by the government in this financial year, citing employment, economic growth, economic empowerment, improved business environment in the private sector, infrastructure and social services.

Others are defence and security, judiciary, international relations, production sector and other cross-cutting issues, among others. Premier Majaliwa said as of February 2018, the government had created 482,601 job opportunities in the official sectors, saying 345,547 jobs or 72 per cent of all created jobs were in the ongoing development projects like the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

The private sector created 137,054 jobs, an equivalent of 28 per cent. The premier told the House that in the 2018/2019 FY, the government intends to increase efficiency in the public service as well as making proper plans for the implementation of the 2018/2019 development plan.

The budget plan has equally considered the government quest for the attainment of the Five-Year National Development Plan 2020/2021, which has a greater objective of putting up an industrial economy that will boost the country’s economy and development of our people,’’ he said.

On economy, he said Tanzania was among the three African countries with the best performing economies.

“As of September 2017, our economy grew by 6.8 per cent, the highest in the East African region,’’ he said, adding that Kenya recorded 6.1 per cent, Rwanda 6.0 per cent, Uganda 5.5 per cent, Burundi 0 per cent and South Sudan 6.3 per cent.

Mr Majaliwa further reiterated the government’s resolve toeffectively make Dodoma, Tanzania’s capital, maintaining that so far 3,829 public servants from ministries, institutions and departments have already relocated to the capital.

He said the government recognises contribution of the private sector and will continue improving the business environment.

“As of February 2018, about 175 projects valued at 4.4 billion US dollars were registered at the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC),’’ he noted.

He said performance of the judiciary has been gradually improving, saying in 2017/2018, it heard and determined 494,525 cases out of 513,329 cases filed at all levels, recording 96.3 per cent performance.

Premier Majaliwa pointed out that apart from case disposal; the judiciary has extended its services closer to the people, through renovation and construction of the High Court buildings in Kigoma and Mara, as well as primary and district courts in various parts of the country. On the war against corruption, the Premier said that PCCB has rescued 58.4bn/- following operations conducted so far.

Hesaid the government was firmly fighting corruption and will neither condone nor tolerate corrupt elements. Furthermore, Mr Majaliwa said the government will not relent in the fight against drug dealings in the country.

He said as of February 2018, the Drugs Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) had arrested 11,071 suspected drug dealers and peddlers, just one year since its establishment.

In a dramatic turn of events, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Tulia Ackson blocked the opposition camp from tabling its alternative budget speech after failing to comply with a directive from the office of the speaker.

The House Speaker, Mr Job Ndugai directed in April, last year, that all budget speeches be submitted to his office one day before being tabled in Parliament. But, according to Dr Ackson, the opposition failed to comply with the directive.

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