THE government has presented its 32.5trn/- National Development Plan and Budget ceiling for the 2018/19 fiscal year, earnestly setting in motion, the drive towards transforming Tanzania into an industrial economic powerhouse.
The new budget outlook tabled in the National Assembly yesterday by the Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Phillip Mpango, indicates a slight increment of about 0.9trn/- over the current 31.6trn/- financial plan.
Members of Parliament are expected to deliberate on the new National Development Plan and the fiscal budget for five days, according to a schedule released by the National Assembly. Dr Mpango forecasts that 68 per cent of revenue collection (about 22.1trn/-), will be generated from local (domestic) sources with tax paying the lion’s share of 18.8trn/-.
“Non tax revenue is projected to be 2.4trn/-. Revenues from Local Government Authorities’ own sources is estimated at 847.7bn/-,” Dr Mpango said in the august House.
The minister also said that the government was expected to borrow 1.4trn/- from international commercial loan sources,and borrow 4.0trn/- from domestic sources that would finance treasury bills and bonds.
“The government will borrow 1.3trn/-, equivalent to 1 per cent of GDP, as a new loan to finance development projects,” he said. The government pointed out that the new plan and fiscal budget were in line with the five-year development plan ending 2020/21.
It said under the fiscal year 2018/19, the plan would be to propel economic growth at an annual average of 7.1 per cent up from the initial projections of 7.0 per cent in 2017. In a bid to maintain an inclusive growth, the government will strive to regulate the inflation rate from 5.3 per cent recorded in June 2017 to 5.0 per cent in June next year.
The minister further explained that tax revenue would remain the same at 14.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But, he said government spending would be halved by nearly 2 per cent to 24.5 per cent of the GDP in the next FY from 26.2 per cent of the current fiscal plan.
At least four key priorities were outlined in the new plan, including industrial development, human skills development, improving the business environment and strengthening execution of the plan.
Implementation of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, Mchuchuma and Liganga projects, as well as Mkulazi sugar plantation and factory topped the list of highly-prioritised projects.
Under its plan, the government emphasised plans to construct the Stiegler’s Gorge dam project, the standard gauge railway and enhance the national air Carrier -- Air Tanzania Company Limited -- to accommodate business developments.