Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR Minister for Finance, Mr Omar Yussuf Mzee is this year expected to unveil the 705.1bn/- national budget for 2014/2015,which is up from last year's 658.5bn/- .
Briefing journalists over the budget, Mzee said the Isles has recorded admirable economic growth from 1,342.6bn/- in 2012 to 1,442.8bn/- last year, and individual income from 1,030,000/- to 1,077,000/- annually.
The Minister attributed good economic growth to agriculture and revenue from the tourism industry.
Agriculture grew from 2.0 per cent to 3.6 per cent, while tourism contribution rose from 0.2 per cent to 6.5 per cent in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
"We had good harvests of rice from 6,372 tonnes in 2012 to 33,655 tonnes in 2013; cloves from 1,755.4 tonnes in 2012 to 4,778 tonnes last year.
The number of tourists rose from 169, 223 in 2012 to 181,301 last year," he said. The Minister said industrial development remains poor as he calls upon investors to invest in the islands.
He said that investment projects increased from 25 in 2012 to 35 last year, creating a total of 1,365 jobs.
Mzee said that there was relief in inflation from 9.4 per cent in 2012 down to 5 per cent last year, attributing to import tax decrease on rice, sugar, and wheat flour, the staple foods of Zanzibar.
Flanked by Ministry executives including the Principal Secretary, Mr Khamis Mussa, the Minister mentioned that 2014/2015 priorities include infrastructure development (roads, and airport) which constitute 48.4 per cent of the development budget, health (9.3 per cent of the budget), education (8.6 per cent of the budget), and water (8 per cent of the budget).
"Workers should not expect pay rises, but they are happy with salary adjustments following implementation scheme of service," said Mzee.