THE Opposition Camp in Parliament yesterday poked holes into the 2017/18 budget estimates, terming it unrealistic and relying on the same sources of revenue.
Members of the opposition argued that scrapping of annual road licence fee was a burden on poor Tanzanians who do not own cars but who use kerosene as a source of energy, hence the decision was likely to affect common mwananchi.
The camp called on the government to come up with new revenue sources as well as proper ways for reducing dependency on foreigners to fund its budget. Tabling the camp’s alternative Sh 30 trillion budget, Mbozi West MP David Silinde (CHADEMA), on behalf of Shadow Minister Halima Mdee the party said the national debt was scary as it grew every year.
“The worrying trend of national debt growth is in the last two years where it has shot from Sh 41 trillion to Sh 50 trillion,” he said, adding that soon it would increase further since there were no concerted efforts to contain it.
The opposition camp want the Parliament to formulate laws to help control national borrowing , and a law that would direct the government to get Parliament’s approval whenever it wanted to borrow from any source as it was happening in other countries like the USA and UK.
Silinde noted that in the 2017/18 estimates, the government was seeking to deprive local government authorities their revenue sources since it had opted to collect property tax through the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) as well as city service levy.
The opposition also blamed the government for failure to clearly state in the budget how it would implement the industrialisation drive in the financial year.
“The government did not show in the 2017/18 budget speech how it will implement the industrialisation drive since it should form the basis of the budget,” added Silinde.
The youthful lawmaker also blamed the government for not even mentioning how many jobs are expected to be created in the financial year, saying the government’s claim of reducing poverty and unemployment among the youth was not realistic.
On the same note, the opposition blamed the government for not telling the Parliament how it would continue to provide Sh 50 million to every village in the country as was promised.
He said unlike in the past years where alternative budget contained the theme of rural growth, this year the opposition’s budget was under the theme: Inclusive Economic Growth, whereby all Tanzanians were required to participate in building national economy at their respective areas.