Academicians at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) have faulted the 15tn/- ($9.493 billion) government budget tabled on Thursday by Finance minister Dr William Mgimwa in Parliament, saying it does not reflect the government’s commitment to reduce the rising costs of living.
Despite the good objectives in it, they said, the budget has a prolonged list of errors, which need to be redressed to foster pro-poor economic growth as pronounced.
Attending the post-budget policy forum on ‘Fiscal and Related Policies in the 2012/13 National Budget, Strengths, Pitfalls and Some Policy Implications’ the academicians said the government’s dependence on the donors is risky to economic development since it will perpetuate the national debt.
They said allocation of 25 percent for other expenditure and 37 percent of the budget for capital investment projects is detrimental to the growth of the economy.
A breakdown is needed to show the items which will be financed from the allocated 25 percent.
“Our government has failed to represent how our natural resources can be used to forster national development. If we tap enough from the mineral resources available, it’s sure that we can get revenue for our budget,” Prof Benedict Mongula of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) said.
Dr Jehovaness Aikaeli of the Economics Department said from a technical perspective, the recently presented budget has space to be improved by reducing the recurrent expenditure to its best compensate social developing projects.
Aikaeli said he believes that the government decision to reduce the development expenditure from 6.7 percent in 2011/12 to 4.5 percent in the 2012/13 fiscal year is because it is unable to spend the whole allocated amount.
“Inflation and cost of living to people has been a bit challenging that is why the government needs to tackle them.
The background to changes starts with the budget, however with this budget we still find it difficult whether the government can normalise the situation,” said Aikaeli.
Usu Mallya from Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP) said that majority of women especially in rural area still suffer from gender based violence and sexual harassment.
“It was reported that thousands of school girls in rural area fail to do their studies but with this budget it appears that nothing has been allocated to address the problem,” she said.