ACT Wazalendo advises govt to reduce commercial borrowing

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ACT Wazalendo advises govt to reduce commercial borrowing
ACT Wazalendo advises govt to reduce commercial borrowing

Africa-Press – Tanzania. Dar es Salaam.

Reducing commercial borrowing, revival of the cashew nut development fund and withdrawing of mobile transactions levy are some of the recommendations from ACT Wazalendo party which yesterday released its analysis of the national budget for 2022/23.

ACT Wazalendo’s finance sector spokespman Emanuel Mvula urged the State to lower the commercial borrowing as part of measures to contain the spiraling national debt.

“Commercial loans account for 32.8 percent of the total external debt. We want the government to reduce the ratio of commercial loans to national debt to 20 percent. The government should also consider swapping these loans into concessional,” he said.

According to Finance and Planning minister Mwigulu Nchemba, who presented the budget in Parliament on Tuesday, the government debt was Sh69.44 trillion as of April this year, equivalent to an increase of 14.4 percent.

Mr Mvula urged the government to reinstate 100 percent of the cashew export levy to farmers as it was before the government changed the law in 2018.

“The government has proposed 50 percent of the export levy to go to the central government consolidated fund and another 50 percent to fund inputs for farmers. But we strongly oppose this proposal because it will not help the farmers,” he said.

Mr Mvula also advised the government to remove the mobile money transaction levies that were introduced last year, citing the taxation measure as a burden to the ordinary citizens and the fact that it did not meet the expectations of the government.

“ACT Wazalendo wants the government to abolish these levies on mobile money transactions. The government has collected Sh261 billion out of the Sh1 trillion intended from mobile money transactions and this is equivalent to only 25 percent of the targets,” he said.

Mr Mvula also lamented over low budget allocated for development expenditure, which also “concentrated on facilitating things rather than people’s development.”

“The level of development budget that is going to serve the people is just Sh6.2 trillion which is equivalent to 14.9 percent of the total budget. So, our budget is still very much focused on things and paying off debts rather than stimulating citizen’s development,” he said.

Party leader Zitto Kabwe noted the need for the Finance and Planning minister to explain about the controversy of tax planned to be imposed on every citizen above 18 years.

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