Finance Minister Saada Mkuya Salum
Finance Minister, Ms Saada Mkuya Salum, told the National Assembly here yesterday that the bulk procurement in the public sector has recorded significant success since its introduction.
The minister was presenting the budget estimates for her ministry for the fiscal year 2015/2016, which was eventually approved by the House after a day of deliberations. According to the minister, the government had placed orders for 179 cars with a total value of 10.2 million US dollars (over 20bn/), 50 of which have arrived in the country already.
?Through bulk procurement we paid only 75,591 US dollars (about 151.2m/-) for a Toyota GX V8 vehicle that we could have acquired for 122,726 dollars (about 245.4m/-) if it hadn?t been for this arrangement,? Ms Mkuya noted.
She added: ?A Toyota Prado TX was bought at 56,301 dollars (about 112m/-) down from 77,754 dollars (over 155m/-) if it was bought as a single unit.?
The bulk procurement arrangement, the minister said, was introduced to cut costs the government has been incurring in purchase of its vehicles separately.
On the other hand, she hinted that plans were underway to introduce electronic procurement in a bid to boost efficiency and check corruption in public procurement.
Presenting the views of the Opposition afterwards, Nominated MP James Mbatia (NCCR-Mageuzi), complained that the government has put in place favourable pensions for retired political leaders at the expense of other senior citizens. Mr Mbatia, who doubles as Shadow Minister for Finance, called for either enactment of a legislation or amendment of the existing one to cater for decent pensions and other benefits.
?It is disheartening that our elders are paid peanuts even after spending their lives serving the country diligently; some of them have been demanding their pension for the past 30 years in vain,? he lamented.
Contributing to the budget estimates, Ole MP Rajab Mbarouk Mohammed (CUF), urged the government to finalise appeals at the tax tribunal worth about 1.7trl/-.
?This is a lot of money pending in the appeal; there is a need to settle the appeals so that the state can get its fair share of revenue,? he stated.
Kigoma South MP David Kafulila said it was high time mining and telecom companies listed at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) to enable Tanzanians participate fully in the economy.
The outspoken lawmaker charged that some of the companies are fond of evading taxes and thus fear to list at the bourse since they will be required to make their financial statements public.
By ALVAR MWAKYUSA, Tanzania Daily News