THE BUSINESS TIME: FRIDAY, JUNE 12 – 18, 2009
BY; YAKOBE CHIWAMBO, CHERU MATUZYA & ERIC TOROKA
The budget as presented Finance Minister Mustafa Mkulo has been dismissed as burdensome as it takes more that what consumers can pay.
Responding on the 2009/10 Budget, the Executive Director for Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society (TCAS), Bernard Kihiyo, told Business Times yesterday that at the end of the day consumers would be the ones to foot for the budget.
He said customers would foot, government duties, fees, and taxes, either directly or indirectly. Dismissing the budget, he said it was asking the most vulnerable people in the society to tighten their belts so that to foot for government spending, which in one way or another was politically motivated.
“Regardless or how one views the specifics; government spending on development projects is focused on the quantity say number of schools, dispensaries, hospitals, and kilometres of roads under tarmac built but not on the quality and sustainability on every invested government funds onto those social development projects. It is evidently on the kind of primary, secondary schools, dispensaries, roads which had been built under other budgets” he said…
He said some politicians assume that spending comes from nothing and that any increase in government spending is good because it helps the people.
“There is cost it”, he said, adding it comes in the form of higher payroll taxes, government fees, higher commodity and services prices which cut into family budgets.
He called on the government to improve the tax base-streamlining the private sector to be an engine of the economy while focus on reduction of unnecessary spending.
For his part, opposition MP John Cheyo said the Government should empower a local bank to cater for farmers to moderise cotton farming which had been adversely affected by the global financial crunch. He said the budget was not fair to consumers of hard beverages.
Another MP Nafael Chegeni said he was happy about the budget as it shows how the nation will handle the global financial crisis. He said President Jakaya Kikwete had explained the foundations on how to handle the crisis.
CCM MP Christian Mzindakaya praised the budget for being agro oriented as that was what the majority populace was looking for.