Government funds pay-out increases

THE disbursement of government’s funds from the national budget to recurrent and development spending has increased from 9 per cent in 2020/21 to 25 per cent in 2021/22 fiscal year, according to the 2021/22 report of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).

The CAG report released this week here in Dodoma shows that the disbursement of funds for recurrent ex- penditure to the ministries, departments and agencies was 17.754tri/- in 2021/22 equivalent to 98 per cent against the approved estimates of 18.090tri/-.

But, in 2020/21 the government released 16.3tri/-, which is an increase in exchequer issue by only nine per cent com- pared to the previous year of 2019/20.

On development spending, the government released 11.6tri/- equivalent to 99.5 per cent against the approved estimates of 11.653tri/-.

Compared with the release for 2020/21 of 9.267tri/- there was an increase by 2.3tri/- equivalent to 25 per cent.

However, CAG Charles Kichere noted that 213bn/- of the released funds were not spent and surrendered to Pay Master General (PMG).

“I am of the view that unutilised exchequer release implies a slow pace in imple- menting planned activities or inability of the management to utilise the released funds timely,” Mr Kichere argued.

Speaking about revenue collection performance, he said over the past three years, including 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22, there has been a growth in collection perfor- mance.

Unlike the previous two financial years with collections below approved estimates, the 2021/22 collections exceeded the budget by 0.8 per cent.

Domestic collections from taxes, non-taxes, and LGA’s own sources totalled 24.546tri/-, while grants and borrowings accounted for 13.8tri/- (1.3tri/- from grants and 12.5tri/- from borrowing).

The CAG went ahead to shed light on the public debt, saying as of 30 June 2022, the public debt stood at 71.3tri/-(which comprises Domestic and External Debt Stock of 24tri/- and 47.2tri/ respectively) against 64.5tri/- re- ported in 2020/21.

The increase was attributed to loss from the exchange rate and net disbursements (new loans net of principal repayments).

“The public debt is sustainable. The ratio of the present value of public debt (external and domestic debt) to GDP remained below the threshold,” he stated.

However, the risk of external debt distress has remained moderate as it was in the previous year.

This was attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, less export and drop of global economy.

“Furthermore, I noted common challenges facing implementation of projects funded by public debt, these include delays for approval of funds through defunding system at all levels, untimely fulfilment of loan conditions for effectiveness and signing loan agreements, delays in procurement planning, execution, and reporting,” he added.

The CAG also mentioned that during the audit, he found various irregularities in expenditure management made by several entities.

“I noted mismanagement of funds released by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development to councils, amounting to 26.03bn/- for surveying, planning and titling of land,” he said.

For instance, Shinyanga Municipal Council, Shinyanga District Councils and Dodoma City Council utilised 2.35bn/- in activities not related to the surveying, planning and titling of land.

On the other hand, Musoma DC, Shinyanga MC, Tabora MC and Mtwara MC, generated a total revenue of 2.02bn/- and utilised 1.37bn/- for other activities while the same were supposed to be refunded to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development.

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