Treasury nets 4.28bn/- dividends, while cautioning slack parastatals

13Dec 2019
Polycarp Machira
Dodoma
The Guardian
Treasury nets 4.28bn/- dividends, while cautioning slack parastatals

THE government has given state owned firms and partially state owned companies which have not paid dividends until January 23rd to submit the government share or will have their boards dissolved.

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango said yesterday that Treasury will not tolerate boards of institutions that fail to heed to President John Magufuli's directive.

Dr Mpango made this assertion upon receiving about 4.28bn/- in dividends from public 12 institutions, where he said that 129 institutions are yet to pay out dividends.

Since President Magufuli gave the directive in November, 58 out of 187 parastatals and public institutions have submitted dividends, he said.

The government was looking for money to help fund development projects, so Treasury would not continue the begging spree while the country is endowed with a lot of resources, he said.

"We can only get out of this awkward situation of begging for support from other countries if government institutions pay out rightful dividends," he said, posting the next dividends acceptance ceremony as 23rd January, 2020.

Just over  a fortnight ago on 24th November, President Magufuli received 1.05trn/- from several institutions from 79 government institutions, authorities and agencies, where he said the government had invested a total of 59.6trn/- in 266 public institutions.

"Unfortunately only 79 institutions are returning the favour," he objected, cautioning that the time to plead with each other was over and will not tolerate seeing the government continuing to lose.

He accused non-performing firms of embezzling public funds by spending in luxury vehicles, hotels as well as expensive board meetings that had limited their ability to generate profits and pay dividends.

Institutions that handed dividends include Vocational Education Training Authority (1bn/-), Tanzania Forest Fund (1bn/-), National Council for Technical Education (855m/), Government Chemist Laboratory Authority (350m/-), Cereals and Other Produce Board of Tanzania (200m/-) and Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institution (200m/-).

Others are Petroleum Bulk Purchase Agency (150m/-), Prisons Corporation Sole (130m/-), Institute of Rural Development Planning-Dodoma (100m/-), the Sokoine University of Agriculture (100m/-), National Institute of Transport (100m/-) and the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (100m/-).

The contributions were for the financial year ending June 30, 2019. During the financial year 2019/20, the government has projected to collect 33.1trn/-in which 59.7 per cent of expected collections or 19.1trn/-would come from tax sources.

Contributions of government institutions and dividends constitute 50 per cent of non-tax revenues. Records remain clear that contributions have risen to 1.05trn/-this year from 161.04bn/- in the 2014/15 financial year where only 24 institutions were involved.

In 2015/16 there were 25 firms that paid 249.5bn/- while in 2016/17 the dividends collection to 637bn/- from 38 firms, while in 2017/18 the number of institutions reached 40, paying a remarkable 842.13bn/-.

Although the trend of public entities contributing increased with time, the level of dividend collection remains below the government target, the president had earlier asserted.