Unguja — Members of the House of Representative in Zanzibar will on Monday, June 23, 2019, start debating Sh1.419 trillion budget for 2019/20 fiscal year, tabled last week by Finance and Planning minister Mohamed Ramia Abdiwawa.
Tabling the budget, Mr Abdiwawa said the budget was up from Sh1.315 trillion allocated for 2018/19, which is equivalent to 7.9 per cent of the increment.
He said Sh842.4 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure, while Sh577 billion would be spent on development projects.
However, the budget dependence is expected to increase to 6.2 per cent of the total budget, higher than 5.7 per cent recorded during the 2018/19 fiscal year.
"The increase of the budget was due to improved revenue collections and increase in subvention from development partners," he said.
He said during the 2019/20 fiscal year, the government expected to collect Sh1.419 trillion including Sh976.5 billion from local sources and Sh394.6 billion from development partners with Sh40 billion will be borrowed from domestic sources and Sh8.3 billion from Donors Basket Funds (DBF).
"Of the Sh976.5 billion domestic revenue, the Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) is expected to collect Sh488.5 billion and the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in the Zanzibar branch is projected to garner Sh350.2 billion. Ministries will be required to collect Sh116.8 billion and workers' Pay As You Earn (Paye) will account for Sh21 billion," he said.
Regarding Sh394.6 billion from development partners, he said while Sh95.5 billion accounted to subvention, Sh296.1 billion will come from foreign loans.
Speaking in the House of Representative, Mr Abdiwawa said named (14) areas that will strengthen the government revenue in 2019/20 including amending the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act and charging tax to foreigners sleeping in marine vessels.
Also, vehicles capable of carrying one and half tonne of cargo will be subjected to stamp duty procedures, strengthening government revenue collections in ministries, departments and institutions, strengthening supervision and monitoring of revenue, redeeming taxpayer's debts and increase time and efficiency for cargo clearance at the Zanzibar Airport.
During that time names of tax evaders will be exposed, and the government will continue to build capacity to users of the Tanzania Customs Integrated System (Tancis).
Other measures will be to plug loop holes on tax evasion, mobilize citizens to demand electronic receipts for purchases made, review laws and regulations for tax exemption in relation to the international tax exemption practice.
Speaking to The Citizen, some members of the House of Representatives commended the government, noting that it is obvious that the Isles was making significant steps towards development.
The Donde representative, Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed the realized 7.9 per cent budget growth for 2019/20 fiscal year was a justification that the Isles economy was significantly growing to meet expectations of citizens.
"My hope is that, economic growth will continue in Zanzibar following the government's plans to improve our economy," he said.
For his part, a representative of Mpandae, Mr Mohamed Said Mohamed who doubles as the chairman of the House of Representative budget committee said Zanzibar will record will record huge development once plans to improve earnings of the Isles are practically implemented.