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BoT dismisses report on `dry coffers`

14th May 2012
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  Zitto: Bank is hiding vital information from public scrutiny
  Ndulu: We have USD 3.6bn, enough for 4 months` imports
Kigoma North legislator, Zitto Kabwe

Bank of Tanzania Governor Prof Benno Ndulu has reassured Tanzanians that the country has USD 3.6 billion in foreign exchange reserves enough to pay for imports for approximately four months. 

“Despite the increase in imports in recent months due to fuel demand, we have enough reserves to pay for imports and provision of services for four consecutive months,” said Prof Ndulu.

The governor was speaking with The Guardian in an exclusive interview in response to a concern raised yesterday by Kigoma North legislator, Zitto Kabwe that the country’s foreign exchange reserves were only enough to pay for a month’s imports.

In a press statement to the media yesterday, the MP blamed the Bank of Tanzania over failure to post and update information on its website it affected the activities of many Tanzanians including him as a legislator and a shadow minister.
“Information placed on BoT website is behind by half a year…this is awful for such a trusted institution. BoT hides such crucial information from Tanzanians who monitor implementation of government policies. Information is hidden,” noted Zitto.

He said that statistics on inflation and collection of government revenues shows how conditions were up until last November, he said, but observed that if a person is looking for information on fuel imports for the first quarter of 2012, he will end up getting statistics ending November last year.
Prof Ndulu in response promised to ensure that the bank will from now on cultivate a culture of updating information on its website regularly.

“We are going to put enough information on the bank’s website.” he noted.

He said the bank is also taking measures to control inflation, explaining that it has so far managed to reduce it on some of the products except food and petroleum products, where high prices have persisted.

He said inflation in other sorts of goods products stands at between 8.5 and 8.6 percent.
In his statement, Zitto said it is high time BoT rectified the matter because access to information is a constitutional right for the people.

He urged Prof Ndulu to ensure that the Monthly Economic Reviews are posted on the website on time, and to ensure that by end of this month BoT website is updated with current information from December last year to April this year.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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