Some members of parliament lack enough knowledge to debate and analyse the national budget and how it relates to the country’s economic growth.
Instead of discussing the budget, they waste valuable time thanking their voters and the ministers, and then end up automatically supporting the tabled bills, Dr Lenny Kasoga said.
An economist lecturing at the University of Dar es Salaam Kasoga told The Guardian on Sunday recently that while debating, the MPs should ensure the budget will have impact on all Tanzanians.
He added: “It is surprising to see an MP thanking voters and humbly asking the government to give priority to his constituency, instead of discussing how the budget will benefit Tanzanians in general, not just his constituency.
According to Kasoga, this implies that the MP does not understand what to say when talking about the national budget and the country’s economic growth.
Citing inflation in Tanzania and world over, Kasoga said most MPs did not even mention the problem but merely went ahead to approve the budget without discussing its impact on poor people.
“Many countries are hit by inflation…in Tanzania the rate is 20 per cent, and no wonder we’ll notice a rise of between 25 per cent and 30 per cent in the aftermath of the approval of the current budget,” intoned Kasoga.
He noted that the MPs are told of economic growth the country is recording but they don’t query why there is still low government revenue.
Referring to a reported increase in production of gold, he said the government gets very little from the mineral’s exports.
“The government gets only three per cent of the mined gold but it does not know the exact amount produced, which would be the basis for calculation of its statutory percentage earnings”.
“But most legislators are naïve, thus needing training on this sensitive matter,” said the economist.