ALL eyes and ears will be tuned to the country’s capital—Dodoma, today, as Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba tables the first budget under President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s administration.
The ambitious 36.26tri/- budget, is expected to mainly focus on the implementation of key strategic development projects as well as propelling the industrial economy and poverty reduction agendas.
Dr Nchemba, with the traditional briefcase, is expected to appear before the National Assembly this afternoon to present his first budget since he was appointed the Minister for Finance and Planning in March 31, this year. Dr Nchemba replaced Dr Philip Mpango, who was nominated the Vice President by President Samia.
With expectations riding high, the Tanzanian budget will be tabled concurrently with other East African member states, as it has always been in the previous years.
On March 12, this year, tabling the plan on behalf of the former Finance and Planning minister Philip Mpango, the then Legal and Constitutional Affairs minister, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba highlighted six major priorities to be implemented through the 13.26tri/- development budget as indicated in the next 2021/2022 Financial Year.
According to Dr Nchemba, Tanzania’s focus in the next financial year will remain on key flagship projects currently underway. They include the much-anticipated Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) which upon completion in June next year will produce about 2,115 Megawatts of electricity.
The government would also continue improving the national airline, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), with the procurement of more flights.
The budget will also finance the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the construction of the Hoima- Tanga oil pipeline, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Lindi Region, Ruhudji Megawatts 350 and 222 Megawatts Rumakali Hydropower projects respectively.
Presenting the National Development Plan and the Budget Ceiling for 2021/2022, Dr Nchemba told legislators that the government would dwell into improving road infrastructures by building more major bridges and flyovers including Kigongo-Busisi (Mwanza), Tanzanite (Dar es Salaam) and Kamata Interchange in Dar es Salaam, among others.
Other priorities include; catalyzing inclusive and competitive economy, strengthening industrial production capacity and customer service, boosting business and investment, catalysing people’s development as well improving human resources in the country.
The government plans to spend 36.3tri/- in the next financial year, with 63 per cent of the budget meant for recurrent expenditure. This is an increase of 4 per cent from 34.88tri/- allocated in the 2020/21 budget.
To meet the target, the minister said, the money is expected to be sourced from tax and non-tax revenues, Local Government Authorities (LGAs), aid and grants from Development Partners (DPs) as well as local and external Concessional Loans.
“Development budget include 10.4tri/- (about 78.2per cent) will be sourced from internal revenue sources and 2.9tri/- (21.8per cent) will be from external sources,’’ he insisted adding:
“About 10.7tri/- an equivalent of 29.5per cent of the total budget has been allocated for loans servicing as well as several ongoing projects and those that have been completed.’’
Dr Mwigulu insisted that the money had been allocated in the normal vote but not for payment of allowances or salaries.
The minister said the government would continue implementing several initiatives in strengthening internal revenue collection as well as footing bills for unavoidable costs like perfecting all flagship projects, government debt, salaries for public servants, loans for students of higher learning institutions, free basic education as well as office costs, among others.
Commenting on the highly expected budget, some of analysts said Tanzanians expect major changes from the first budget of the fifth government.
Mr Ivan Tarimo, a partner at bankable Tanzania through CNBC Africa said the public expects a private sector led budget today. He said the budget is expected to focus on supporting agriculture productivity and improve poverty statistics.
He said the public expects more push on industrial and agricultural sector, which are the major source of income and jobs. “We expect the government through the 2021/22 budget to promote competitive industrialization, which in turn will create jobs and facilitate the country’s economic growth,” he said.