Bunge area set for expansion

DODOMA: THE area that is occupied by the Tanzania Parliament in Dodoma will now expand from the current 42,312 to 162, 236 square metres after the annexation of the surrounding areas, it has been revealed.

Presenting the committee report on the implementation of the 2023/2024 Bunge budget (Vote No. 42) and the allocated Legislatures’ budget estimates for 2024/2025 financial year, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget, Mr Omary Kigua said the annexation of the areas was made possible after the government provided a total of 12.216 bn/- to compensate the area owners.

The payment of the compensation to owners of the acquired areas was made after the government issued a public notice in the Government Gazette; Issue No. 51 dated December 22, 2023.

The government issued the funds for the acquisition of the areas after the Parliamentary Service Commission and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget tabled the proposal to the State so as to increase the size of the area occupied by the House, including stepping up security.

According to Mr Kigua, further processes are going on to take over ownership of the surrounding areas owned by Cereals and Other Produce Board of Tanzania (CPB), the Government Procurement Services Agency (GPSA), the National Food Reserve Agency (NRFA) and Dodoma abattoir office.

Dwelling on how the 2023/2024 Bunge budget was implemented, Mr Kigua said a total of 164.994 bn/- was allocated for the Legislature, out of which 23.605bn/- was for Recurrent Expenditure, 140.22bn for Other Charges and 5.169 for Development Expenditure.

Of the total funds allocated for Development Expenditure, 4.7bn/- was planned to be internally sourced (domestic revenue) while 469.02m/- was required to be collected from external sources.

However, he said until February 29th, 2024, a total of 119.229 bn/- had been released, equivalent to 70 per cent of the total earmarked budget. Out of the released funds, 15.779bn/- was for Recurrent Expenditures, equivalent to 66.84 per cent while 101.896bn/, equivalent to 72.67 per cent of the budget was for Other Charges.

On Development Expenditure, Mr Kigua said until February 2024, a total of 1.554bn/-, equivalent to 33.03 per cent of the budget, had been received. The money financed the construction of two residential houses for officials and the renovation of two Bunge buildings.

According to Mr Kigua, procedures for installing security system gadgets are still going on. In 2023/2024 financial year, Parliament had planned to collect a total of 131.766 m/- in revenue from its various sources. However, until February 29, 2024, the total amount of revenue collected was 76.678m/-, equivalent to 58.19 per cent.

Speaking on challenges encountered during the implementation of the 2023/2024 Bunge budget, the committee chairman said unpredictable and fluctuating forex exchange rates significantly caused the operational costs to shoot up.

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