The government has increased the ministry of transport’s budget by 95bn/- following criticism by Members of Parliament that the earlier budget was not enough to address problems facing its sectors.
The MPS had threatened to block the budget amounting to 237,563,802,000/-, saying endorsing it would be lying to themselves and wananchi because it was not adequate to address critical problems facing the sector.
Announcing the government decision to increase the budget by 95bn/-, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said the money will be channeled to the central railway line, Air Tanzania Company and marine transport (ships in lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa).
He said following the limited budget allocated to the ministry, the government met on Wednesday to look into the possibility of increasing it from different sources.
“The government meeting was crucial so that it could discuss all the concerns raised by members of parliament in the House,” he said.
He said after the parliamentary committee for infrastructure went through the budget estimates for the ministry it advised the government to raise 95bn/- from different sources, for the budget.
Pinda said the transport sector needed major investments for construction of railways, ports and airports. He said such investment was also needed for purchase and maintenance of aircrafts, railway engines, wagons and vessels.
“These demands could not be met by the budget set aside for the ministry …this ministry like others, is faced with the problem of limited budget,” Pinda said.
He said despite the increase, the budget was still not enough to meet the ministry’s needs.
“This is the first budget for the ministry. The sector has been given priority in the five-year strategic development plan, so the government will continue to give it priority in the coming budgets,” Pinda said.
He called upon all ministries to use the money allocated in the budget for the intended purposes.
Tabling the budget estimates for his ministry on Wednesday Transport Minister Omar Nundu asked the parliament to endorse 237,563,802,000/- for the financial year 2011/12 out of which 69,585,672,000/- was for recurrent expenditures with 167,978,130,000/- being for development projects.
Development projects involve 95bn/- which would come from the government and 72,978,130,000/- from development partners.
Commenting on the illegal privatisation of Dar es Salaam Transport Company (UDA) the Premier said that the government has directed the Controller and Auditor General, Director of Criminal Investigations and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau to conduct thorough and speedy investigations and submit a report to the government.
“The government will take appropriate measures according to the law against all those who will be found to have been involved in sabotaging UDA,” Pinda said.
On Wednesday Members of Parliament unleashed a barrage of criticism on the 2011/12 Ministry of Transport budget, saying it had failed to address problems facing its sectors.
They said that the budget lacked national interest and should be returned to the government for changes so that to meet expectations.
The citied ATCL, TRL and Kilimanjaro Airport Authority saying they were causing losses to the nation for failing to operate efficiently.