THE Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure has directed the government to address the decade-long operational burden of the then East African Tanzania Postal and Telecommunication Cooperation retirees on Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC).
This burden, according to Committee Chairman Selemani Kakoso, emanated from pensions of the then East African Tanzania Postal and Telecommunication Cooperation retirees, TPC is now subjected to pay.
Speaking during its first meeting with the newly established Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Dodoma, the committee directed the ministry to seek audience with the Ministry of Finance and Planning to resolve the matter that had been chocking the corporation.
“The committee has directed the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to consult the Ministry of Finance and Planning to ease the burden on TPC to support the parastatal to operate profitably,” said Mr Kakoko.
TPC pays 888bn/- annually to EAC pensioners, the burden that the committee believes the government’s intervention could help the corporation compete in the local and international markets.
In addition, the corporation pays 50m/- monthly to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) from debts amounting to 26bn/-.
“TPC has so far made deposits amounting to 10bn/- as payment to EAC pensioners,” Mr Kakoso said.
Nonetheless, Telecommunication Corporation (TTCL) has not been paid over 22bn/- by public institutions using its telephony service and data.
“This is the reason the committee wants the ministry to meet with the Ministry of Finance and Planning to address this challenge,” he said.
The meeting was attended by Minister, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, Permanent Secretary, Dr Zainab Chaula, and heads of institutions, including TTCL, TPC, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), TCRA-CCC, Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) and Tanzania ICT Commission (TICTC).
The committee also lauded UCSAF and TCRA for improving communications services and regulating ICT facilities and technology in the country.
Mr Kakoso directed the ministry to cooperate with the committee to address the challenge of communications, especially in border areas.
For her part, Dr Chaula said the ministry was ready to cooperate with the Committee on Infrastructure to push for better access and availability of communications services in the country.
UCSAF Executive Secretary Justina Mashiba assured the committee that the institute would continue constructing telecoms towers in rural and border areas to improve connectivity.
A lawmaker and committee member, Mr Zuberi Kuchauka, thanked President John Magufuli for setting up the new ministry, saying it would help match the digital world.