4 August 2017

Tanzania: Mdee Faults Govt Over State of Economy

Photo: The Citizen
Halima Mdee, shadow minister of finance and planning

Dar es Salaam — The Finance and Planning shadow minister, Ms Halima Mdee said on Thursday that the government's response to questions raised by Chadema on the state of the country's economy does not reflect reality on the ground.

Speaking in a press conference on Monday, Chadema national chairman, Freeman Mbowe, asked the government to explain the reasons behind the poor state of the economy.

In response, the government's spokesperson, Dr Hussein Abbas said the economy was stable and that revenue collection by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) had increased to an average of Sh1 trillion from Sh925 billion per month.

"The answers from the government spokesperson, Dr Hussein Abbas, on why the government is going through a rough time economically under President John Magufuli, do not hold water at all," she said.

Ms Mdee queried: "How can you claim that the economy is stable while we don't have an inclusive economy?"

She said it was not logical for the government to say its monthly revenue collected by the taxman had risen while it has neither employed new workers nor increased salaries since assuming power in 2015.

Ms Mdee, who is the Kawe MP, also argued that if the revenue collection was increasing then the national debt would have been going down.

She pointed out that people want answers on several issues including why contribution of agriculture on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is dwindling. Agriculture employs over 70 per cent of Tanzanians.

According to her, the government should come out and explain clearly about its plans to revive agriculture, which is regarded as the backbone of the Tanzanian economy.

"How can the government say the economy is steadily growing at the rate of 7 per cent without stating how that growth reflects in the lives of the people across the country," said Ms Mdee.

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