The minister asserted that Suma-JKT had recovered 2.3bn/- since President John Magufuli issued one- month ultimatum to Suma-JKT tractor loan debtors to settled their debts in one month.
Mwinyi was optimistic that all the monies will be recovered as all the tractor loan debtors are Tanzanians and are willing to repay the loans. He said they have written to employers of the debtors to insist them to pay the loans before the government takes measures to auction their properties.
He said that Suma-JKT had provided tractors worth 5,355,153,000/- in the 2015/2016 financial year whereas until January 31st 2019 it recovered 2,389,082,000/- which is equivalent to 45 per cent of the money. He said the efforts are underway to recover the remaining 2,966,071,000/-
He said the tractor loans were meant to support the country’s efforts towards poverty reduction through improvement of the agriculture sector as well as boost the company’s capital.
Minister Mwinyi noted that various measures are taken to ensure all the agricultural inputs loans are repaid on time. Some of the measures include review of contracts between loaners and Suma-JKT and ensuring close supervision of agricultural projects that are funded by the company.
In his main question, Same East MP, Naghenjwa Kaboyoka (CCM) wanted to know measures taken by the company to recover unpaid money. He suggested that recovered monies be used to purchase agricultural inputs which will be issued as loans to other farmers across the country.
Since Members of Parliament are among the debtors, June last year, National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai gave the law makers who borrowed tractors from the army until June 23, 2018 to settle their debts.
He said the order was as per written instructions from Suma JKT.
Speaker Ndugai said he had earlier considered forwarding the names of all the defaulting MPs to the parliamentary accounts department so that their debts could be deducted from their legislative pay packages, only to back-track after learning that those packages – including salaries – are already being subjected to several other deductions.
The Suma JKT tractor project in 2010 was aimed at complementing the government’s Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First) initiative by providing Tanzanian farmers with tractors and other farm equipment at affordable prices.
The tractors initially sold at 25m/- each, but in 2012 the price was reduced to 16m/- to allow more local farmers to acquire the machines.