Tanzania has increased its defence budget by Tsh287 billion ($124.4 million), which is 15 per cent higher than the previous year, with the standard gauge railway allocated almost half of the development budget of the Ministry of Works.
Tanzania’s Ministry of Defence and National Service budget has increased from Tsh1.854 trillion ($810 million) in 2019/20 to Tsh2.141 trillion ($925 million) for the 2020/21 financial year.
Presenting the budget estimates on behalf of Defence Minister Hussein Mwinyi, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jenista Mhagama requested parliament to approve next year’s budget.
Ms Mhagama said the priorities of the 2020/21 budget will be for recurrent expenditure and the ministry’s development projects.
“Tsh1.617 trillion ($698million) will be spent on recurrent expenditure and implementation of development projects under Ngome (Tanzania military headquarters), Tsh354.2 billion ($152.4 million) and Tsh169.6 billion ($72.7 million) shared between National Service and the ministry headquarters.”
According to the budget, recurrent expenditure will increase from last year’s Tsh1.726 trillion ($748 million) and funding for development projects will increase from Tsh128 billion ($55.5 million).
The minister noted that during the next fiscal year, the army will be provided with modern equipment, training and infrastructure, communication gadgets, and domestic resources such as welfare and health services and housing.
The House also approved the budget for the Ministry of Works to the tune of Tsh4.9 trillion ($ 2.1 billion).
Out of the amount allocated, parliament has approved and directed Tsh2.1 trillion ($950 million) to be spent on the standard gauge railway project, equivalent to 48.1 per cent of the ministry’s total development budget.
The amount is less by 10 per cent from what was approved last year, when Tsh2.39 trillion ($1 billion) was allocated the SGR project.
The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Isack Kamwelwe said the allocated amount “is to ensure that the first phase of the SGR project which covers 300km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro is completed within the stipulated time frame.”
He said the rest of the money will be used to purchase locomotive engines as well as passenger and cargo wagons.
Last week, parliament adjusted the schedule of the proceedings of the 19th parliament. The budget speech will be presented on May 20 and the House will stand officially dissolved on May 29.
The earlier schedule has slotted the budget speech for 2020/21 fiscal year for June 4, and the National Assembly to be dissolved on June 30.
SOURCE: The East African
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