Outspoken Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe has said he disapproves the proposal that half of the money to be staked for development expenditure should go to service the national debt.
According to him, over half of the funds allocated towards development projects in the coming financial year (2012/2013), have been applied to service the national debt instead of funding development projects.
Statistics at the Finance Affairs ministry confirm 40 percent of the staked total proposed development budget of 5trn/- will go to debt servicing. The entire proposed national budget for the financial year 2012/13 is valued at 15trn/- (USD8.75bn).
Zitto Kabwe, explained in a statement issued at the weekend that the proposed funds for servicing the national debt which currently stands at 22trn/- is going to be close to 50 percent of the development expenditure. The total budget’s recurrent expenditure is about 34 percent of the whole debt.
Budget books distributed to MPs, have indicated that in the year 2012/2013 government’s priorities would focus on servicing the national debt with allocations of 2.7trn/-to Ministry of Works, 1trn/- to Ministry of Defence, 920bn/- to Ministry of Education and 721bn/- to Vocational Training as well as 641bn/- staked for the Energy and Mineral ministry.
He also reminded them of the importance of taking part at the budget presentation in parliament, saying that they must be part of the checks and balances process. Kabwe called on other MPs to study the proposed government budget and the need to speed up the move to form a Parliamentary Committee on Budget.
“All tax exemptions and government debt should now be controlled by the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Economy as it would enhance the management of it…” he advised.
Much of the public remains ill informed of government plans and intentions. Expressing this dilemma, Eng. David Mkumbo, made the following comment: “I haven’t read the budget book but if what Kabwe is saying has got truth, I doubt the government to fully changing the life standards of the people. I really don’t understand, if we are now paying the debt, why are we now borrowing? There should be ways of controlling and not increasing it.
Mkumbo suggested that funds for development projects shouldn’t depend on loan or aids from donors. Instead, the government should use domestic revenue to tackle the matter as it will help to bring development as well as control our national debt.
Last week Kabwe, who also served as Shadow Finance minster proposed the alternative budget which focused on cutting down taxes exemption up to 1 percent of the country’s GDP. In addition, he proposed for the fostering of rural development along with monitoring of the speedy increase of the national debt from 7trn/- in 2009 to the current 22trn/- and the demand for special auditing of the same.