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What Mkulo Didn't Tell Us

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Jun 10, 2011
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    The Citizen Team
    9 June 2011

    Concerns have been raised over Finance minister Mustafa Mkulo's failure to show how gains in the 2011/12 Budget will trickle down to improve Tanzanians' lives.People who spoke to The Citizen from across the country yesterday also queried the apparent lack of clear strategies to widen the tax base and add more revenue sources to increase much-needed resources for development.

    Mr Mkulo on Wednesday tabled in Parliament the Sh13.5 trillion Budget to be funded by Sh6.8 trillion from domestic revenue and the rest from loans, grants and local government sources.

    Anglican Church cleric Dominick James said in Tanga that the Budget did not show how gains would trickle down to ordinary Tanzanians, who bore the brunt of the high cost of living."The government should closely monitor the implementation of tax reductions to ensure that consumers benefit from the envisaged lower prices," he said.

    Mr Joseph Lyimo, a tax specialist with PwC in Dar es Salaam, said the government had "ignored" workers by not reducing income tax, adding that soaring inflation had eroded people's purchasing power."We had expected the government to either reduce the individual income tax rates to below the current 30 per cent or to raise the income tax brackets," he said.

    Tanzanians are some of the poorest people in the world, but are endowed with significant natural resources, which have not been fully utilised to improve living standards.Ms Asha Said, a student at Sebastian Kolowa University College (Sekuco) in Lushoto, said she was disappointed that revenue sources had not been diversified.

    "There are many potential sources of revenue in this country...I had expected the minister to depart from the tradition of sticking to the same sources year in, year out...we need something new," she said. Mr Aristides Kwizela, a Dar es Salaam civil servant, said Mr Mkulo did not tell Tanzanians what new sources of revenue would be.

    "Just like in previous budgets, the government has continued to rely on tax increases on the so-called luxury commodities like alcohol and cigarettes, while not touching lucrative sectors such as mining, wildlife and tourism," he said.Korogwe resident Kalistus Shekibaha said he was amazed that Mr Mkulo did not come up with new strategies to generate more revenue from mining firms."I didn't hear anything new as far as reforms in the tax regime of the mining sector are concerned...there is a lot of money there," he said.

    The chairman of the Tanga Small Business Association (Chabiwata), Mr Salim Kirungi, said there was a need to review contracts with the big mining companies, adding that the government deserved to get much more from mining.On plans to reduce fuel prices, PwC's Lyimo said the Budget was not clear on how much prices would come down as there were 12 different taxes imposed on petroleum products.

    This was echoed by Dr Honest Ngowi of Mzumbe University who said: "We were not told exactly by how much the government plans to cut taxes on fuel to ease the burden on ordinary Tanzanians. There is little difference between this and previous budgets."

    In Bukoba, many people who spoke to The Citizen said the government had failed to come up with effective measures to improve living standards. Mr Dominick Mushangaki, 68, a farmer in Muleba District, said he had never seen people's lives improve through implementation of proposals contained in budgets.

    Reported by Burhan Yakub and George Sembony (Tanga); Phinias Bashaya (Bukoba) and Frank Kimboy, Beatus Kagashe and Al-amani Mutarubukwa (Dar)