Presenting a report of the parliamentary committee, the Chairman of Budget Committee Moshi Kakoso said it was important for the government to increase allocations to the agency from 30 percent to 40 percent to promote economic growth in rural areas.
He was presenting the committee’s views on the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication budget estimates in the Parliament on Monday.
According to the committee, currently Tarura is allocated only 30 percent, with the remaining 70 going to national roads. The committee says the funds allocated for the agency were not enough.
According to Kakoso, lack of enough funds was blocking the implementation of road construction projects in rural areas.
“The country will not achieve its industrialisation goal if rural roads will not be given priority. Almost all raw materials for our industries comes from rural areas” Said Kakoso
While launching the new agency in July, last year, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed that rural roads be given priority as they were the ones propelling the country’s economy.
Furthermore, the committee stressed on the importance of timely release of projects’ funds as its delay was affecting development.
“For example in the year 2017/18, parliament approved funds to a number of airports but most of them have received a very small amount to the moment. A total of 7.3bn/- had been allocated for Kigoma airport but only 215m/- was released, also 230m/- was approved for Songwe Airport but only 10m/- has been released,” He said
Also affected by the same problem are Kilimanjaro, and Mwanza airports.
Debating the ministry’s budget estimates yesterday, some MPs raised concern on the lack of priority in improving rural roads.
Igunga MP Dr Dalali Kafumu said that most of the roads in his constituency were in dilapidated conditions and that the government had shown no commitments in improving them.
“Most of wards in Igunga constituency are disconnected following poor road infrastructures in the areas, I have been speaking on this for a long tome but no measures are taken,” he said.
He mentioned areas like Igunga-Itumba –Yola road which is connecting with Tabora region as among roads which needs immediate action by the government to improve it and many other roads thus promote economic activities.
Hawa Ghasia, Mtwara rural MP (CCM) urged the government to fast track the construction of a modern railway from Mtwara-Mbambabay passing through Liganga and Mchuchuma.
“This railway is important. As the country is implementing its industrial drive, a number of factories will be opened in Mtwara, so the issue of transportation infrastructure is vital,” she said