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Experts want more spending on investments

Experts want more spending on investments

University of Dar es Salaam lecturer, Dr Haji Semboja said in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that solving structural constraints such as electricity shortage and irrigation schemes are no longer an option if the government is to achieve stable economic growth.

“We need to focus on sensitive economic issues aimed at addressing structural problems which have continuously devastated the economy while slowing down poverty alleviation strategies,” he remarked. He said Tanzanians should not blame each other but instead remain highly committed and work diligently to ensure discipline is maintained in implementing the government plans.

Frequent power blackouts caused economic growth rate to slow to 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year from 6.7 per cent the period earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed in its quarterly report.  Electricity output fell 1.7 per cent compared with 9.7 per cent growth a year ago, with low water levels crimping hydroelectric production and maintenance work affecting gas-fuelled power generation.

The electricity crisis caused growth in the manufacturing sector to decline to 6.6 per cent from 9.9 per cent a year ago, NBS said in the report.  The government planned to spend 13.52tr/- during the fiscal year, up from 11.6tr/- the previous period.  Initially, the government had budgeted to spend 8.6tr/- on recurrent expenditure and 4.92tr/- on development projects. 

Dr Evans Rweikiza, former Executive Director of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) said high food prices which contributes to over 50 per cent inflation can be tamed if the budget on agriculture is increased and plans implemented fully.

He said the increase of food production may help not only calming down inflation but also exploit comparative advantage which the country enjoys at the East African  region by becoming giant exporter of cereal products. “Industrial development using the available raw materials should be the next destination of the coming budget by focusing on exporting semi-processed goods and also act as job creation instrument,” observed Dr Rweikiza.

Mzumbe University lecturer, Dr Honest Ngowi said the next budget should focus on increasing internal capacity of producing goods and services to curb inflation. “Spending on development projects such as building roads, railways, airports, ports, water supply and improve electricity supply should be prioritised. To achieve the budget objectives, 60 per cent of it should go to development expenditures and 40 on recurrent,” he said.  

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Author: SEBASTIAN MRINDOKO

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