Zanzibar tables 5.1tri/- budget

ZANZIBAR: THE Zanzibar government on Thursday tabled its new budget for the 2024/2025 financial year, amounting to 5.1tri/-.

The new budget brings sigh of relief to government employees as each one will start pocketing 50,000/- in transport allowance, following the directives of President Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi.

Payment of transport allowance to employees follows a prolonged request from the workers to ease the rising cost of living. Unveiling the budget in the House of Representatives on Thursday Minister of State in the President’s Office (Finance and Planning) Dr Saada Mkuya Salum said the government will, in the new financial year, establish an investment and a stock exchange.

The minister also announced to increase holiday allowance for all employees in public institutions (allocated 2.13bn/-) and that special considerations have also been made for employees and executives of the House of Representatives to motivate them to improve performance.

“The government has allocated 47.53bn/- for new employment in priority areas and during the fiscal year, we plan to complete preparations to establish an Investment Bank, introduce the Zanzibar Stock Exchange; complete the draft revenue management law for oil and gas exploration and extraction of natural gas,” Dr Saada said.

She said that during the new fiscal year the government will continue with reforms and that more than 2.08tri/- has been allocated to implement priority projects which include opportunities in the Blue Economy, a leading sector for Zanzibar’s economic growth. She said that more than 453.0bn/- has been allocated for implementing the construction of Integrated Port – Mangapwani.

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According to the minister, 15bn/- is allocated to improve historical sites to boost tourism; 27bn/- for the development of traditional fish harbour (Diko) and modern Fish Markets; 26bn/- for procurement of two government boats; 127.5bn/- for construction of a Passenger Ferry Terminal at Maruhubi area (Ferry Terminal at Maruhubi Area); Highway Roads construction (311.7bn/-); and Urban Road Maintenance Programme (112.09bn/-).

Other allocations include implementation of feeder roads construction programme (45.6bn/); construction of Pemba Airport (101.39bn/- of which 9.5bn/- is from the government and 91.89bn/- from Development Partners UKEF/ CITY BANK).

Transforming energy sector has received 211.25bn/- which include 37.00/-bn from the government and 174.25bn/- from development partners.

Other earmarked projects are construction of commuter bus stops, car parking and Mwanakwerekwe Market (29.00bn/-). Other funds have been allocated for the construction of Uzi – Ng’ambwa, Kizimbani – Kiboje and Kitogani – Paje roads, including the rehabilitation of Wete – Chake and Wete – Gando roads in Pemba.

The minister said establishing and developing Special Industrial Parks received 40.32bn/- with other funds going to other projects involving development of business centres and a Zanzibar exhibition venue.

In addressing budget deficit, the government is expected to borrow 1.712tri/-.

According to the unveiled budget, port services fee for international cruise ships and yacht anchoring in Zanzibar has been raised from 10 US dollars to 15 US dollars.

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