House approves 44.4tri/- budget

  • As government insists that no business operation will be shut down
  • Calls for tax compliance, treasures contribution of private sector

PARLIAMENT on Monday unanimously approved a 44.39tril/- national budget for the next fiscal year.

A total of 354 lawmakers voted in favour of the budget which is designed to drive growth, improve administrative efficiency and encourage voluntary tax compliance.

Eighteen (18) parliamentarians abstained from the process whereas some 23 legislators put a no- show in the open ballot.

The government had asked the August House to approve the 44.39tril/- budget, which was unveiled last week by Finance and Planning Minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba.

This is a slight increment from the 41tril/- budget that was approved in the 2022/23 financial year.

Moving his motion earlier on, Dr Nchemba asked fellow parliamentarians to support President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s initiatives of transforming Tanzania’s economy.

“Huge sums of money have been channeled towards major development projects such as construction of trunk roads, we should credit where it is due,” the Minister for Finance and Planning urged.

Dr Nchemba equally urged the MPs to embark on a tax sensitisation mission in their constituencies with a view of widening the tax base and thereby increasing government revenue.

“The vicious circle can only be cut down if we all demonstrate compliance in taxation,” he observed.

Dr Nchemba defended duty remissions imposed on Wheat farmers arguing that it was standard procedure that will not hurt the farmers.

The Minister equally reminded the MPs that the government was keen on strengthening the private sector, contrary to some reports that it was allegedly curtailing the sector’s growth.

“The government treasures the valuable contribution of the private sector in widening the tax base, we will therefore work together in improving the economy,” he asserted.

The Minister insisted that the government will not shut down business operations due to violation of various legislations.

“We will instead sit down with owners of such business ventures with view of resolving impending issues,” the Minister clarified.

Presenting government budget estimates for 2023/24 financial year in the National Assembly last week, the minister proposed removal of tuition fees for Form 4 students who have been selected to join vocational training colleges such as Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Arusha Technical College (ATC) which offers national prioritised courses.

The removal of such levies is said to be tantamount to an increase in the quantity of skilled graduates from different social and economic backgrounds available to support industries and industrial growth.

According to Dr Nchemba, road and fuel tolls would be increased by 100/- per each litre of petrol and diesel and the funds obtained will be channeled for strategic projects in the next financial year.

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