COUNCILLORS in Rorya District have approved its annual income and expenditure budget standing at 38,830,799,000/=in 2020/21 fiscal year as revenue collection has improved, rising to 46 per cent.
During the meeting held at Utegi recently, council authorities explained that during the previous 2019/20 fiscal year, its own source docket annual collections rose slightly to 2.1b/-from the previous year that was standing at 1.6b/-, development they say could enable the local authority to implement development projects.
According to the District’s Executive Director (DED) Charles Chacha the council has also taken tangible measures, including the continuous use of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) at all auction centers so that the risk of misappropriation is strictly avoided.
He told Councillors that over the past years some village and ward officers charged with the revenue collections at grassroots levels were used to old fashioned means, including the use of cashbook receipts that some untrustworthy elements utilised to print extra receipt books for personal gains.
‘’From now onwards, the council has directed all local village and ward officers collecting revenues to strictly adhere to the use of the EFDs, to avoid inconveniences that arise and caused the own sources to drop in this year’s collections,” said Chacha.
He told the meeting that beginning this year, the council 50 additional Electronic Fiscal Devices EFDs that will be distributed to all revenue collection centers scattered in the district to check the reliability of tax collection.
He said the council has also boosted the awareness campaign to small scale entrepreneurs to obtain the special presidential identification cards that costs 20,000/=only so that their businesses can be protected against all sorts of discrimination and disturbances while conducting their activities.
According to the director, the council was also embarking on a strategy to introduce several cash crops, including cotton, coffee and sunflower, that will enable farmers to improve their production output and reap extra income to better their lives.
‘The government has already started issuing special entrepreneurial identification cards, a development that has increased the ability of our tax collectors to differentiate the medium and large scale businesspersons from the small scale vendors that have been victims of extortion from several tax enforcers for a long time,” he said.
For his part, Rorya DC, Simon Chacha briefed councillors about the continuous decline in academic standards affecting mostly girls from grassroots areas, due to childhood pregnancies and early marriages, asking civic representatives to observe a zero-tolerance attitude towards the perpetrators.
He revealed that the district authorities had put in place various disciplinary as well as legal measures against all parents and guardians who colluded with those who impregnated school going children and opted to settle matters out of court while the suspects walked away scotch free.
‘’There are alarming figures reported from several villages here that tens of under aged girls dropped out of school due to early pregnancies and in most cases the police prosecutors experienced legal difficulties in holding the suspects to account due to out-ofcourt settlements,’ he further said.
He noted that civic leaders have responsibilities to report such parents and all concerned culprits to the law enforces at their areas of jurisdiction and refrain from allowing such abnormal settlements to take place at the ward offices at the expense of young school going girls.