The parliament yesterday endorsed the 13.5trn/- government budget for the 2011/2012 financial year, reducing levies and charges on petroleum products to curb inflation and control tax evasion and oil adulteration.
Winding up the budget debate, Finance Minister Mustafa Mkulo said the government has decided to reduce levies and charges on diesel and petrol. He said that excise duty on the mentioned products will be reduced from 314/- to 256/-. The date for commencement of the new charges will be announced later.
Mkulo also directed the Energy and Water Regulatory Authority (EWURA) to look into possibilities of reducing levies on kerosene. He said the government will also review fuel charges levied by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and TIPER.
He said the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation will have to ensure availability of cheap natural gas for industrial use, so as to increase production hence, reduce commodity prices.
On allowances, Mkulo said the total amount of allowances paid to public servants per annum is 352.74bn/- and that sitting allowances amounted to 25.68bn/- whereby members of parliament get 4.92bn/- annually.
He said it was not possible to remove the payments because there were some people who are paid allowance in accordance with the law passed by the parliament.
He said that it is impossible to remove allowance payments for doctors, retired army officers and judges. He said there is also a certain amount of allowances used to purchase official attires for judges and other government officials.
Explaining Mkulo, said that if the MPs want to remove allowance payments, they are going to save only 25.68bn/-. He said the number of seminars will also be reduced and that any government institution intending to conduct a seminar will be required to seek for a permission from the office of the Prime Minister.