Committee queries slashing of    budget for  the Works ministry

10May 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Committee queries slashing of    budget for  the Works ministry

THE Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure Development has queried why development budget for ministry of Works, Transport and Communication in 2019/2020 had been cut by 772 billion/-, being 39.08 per cent of the budget allocation in the 2018/2019.

Tabling the committee remarks on the 2019/2020 ministerial budget estimates yesterday, the committee chairperson, Selemani Kakoso said the government should look for other sources of the amount that had been ‘slashed’, saying the money would boost infrastructure activities like building roads across the country.

 The committee is concerned on such big budget reduction for the ministry whose activities, especially on road construction  are always on the increase,” he said.

He also expressed committee observations on poor contractors, calling on the government through the Engineers Registration Board (ERB) to take serious actions on contractors that perform below standards.

At the same time, the committee called on the government to ensure the bill on the law to control scrap metals is brought to the Parliament to help curb activities of some unpatriotic Tanzanians who tamper with road signs, selling them to scrap metal dealers.

The committee further called on the road agency to ensure the rightful road signs are installed during construction , including those that show animals crossing, arguing that most of the areas where animals cross are damaged.

Tabling the ministerial budget estimates, minister Isack Kamwelwe noted that the Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) plans to build 432.30 roads at tarmac level, 13 bridges and rehabilitations of 56 kilometre roads in the 2019/20 financial year.

He said the agency also conducts routine and recurrent maintenance on 32,944.31, for 5,031.14 kilometres and repairing of 3,376 bridges.

He asked the House to approve   4,963,297,839,163.00/- for the 2019/20 budget whereby   1,330,194,268,268,268.00/- is for works sector,  3, 629,130,373,895.00/- is for the transport sector and  3, 973,197,000.00/-   for the communication sector.

He noted that in the new financial year, the government will complete the construction of railway from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro, including installation of electricity infrastructure in the 300 kilometres line.

“It will also continue the construction of the 422 kilometres railway line from Morogoro to Makutupora,” he said, adding that the implementation of the construction of Tabora-Isaka Mwanza’s 676 kilometres road will also start.

The minister noted that the government has set aside 500,000m/- for the improvement of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL).

The amount will be spent on purchase the second Boeing 787 Dreamliner and four Bombadier Q400 type. The government will also conduct initial payments of two other planes, A220-300, purchase of one Bombadier Q400 and   spare engine for Bombadier Q400.

During the same period, the government will spend 70,000m/- for the building of new ferry and renovation of the existing ones in Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika.

Kamwelwe added that the government will carry out expansion of Kigamboni ferry terminal  and complete procurement of one ferry which is 170 tones to ply between Magogoni and Kigamboni crossings.

On construction of government houses, the ministry will complete construction of tied quarters for judges’ residencial houses in mainland Tanzania, construct to houses for government leaders and residential houses at state house in Dodoma.