Tanzania: JPM Feats in Revenue Surge

THE fifth phase government has, in its first term, lived up to the CCM Election Manifesto (2015 - 2020), under which the ruling party made an earnest commitment to sustain the tempo of enhancing the country's prospects on economic, political and social fronts, as it had been doing over the preceding 38 years.

The ruling party assured the electorate (in its Section 20 of the Manifesto) that it would see the economy growing for an average eight per cent or more, raise prosperity of Tanzania, increase revenue collection, reduce poverty, curb the inflation rate and generally, bring about sustainable macroeconomic stability.

To walk the talk, less than five years on, the government, under the President John Magufuli has earnestly restructured the financial and planning sectors.

While launching the 11th Parliament in Dodoma in 2015, Dr Magufuli expressed concern about unsatisfactory revenue collections overseeing integrity among those working in the said sectors as well as others, improving tax laws, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), expanding the tax base, reducing tax exemption and avoiding other shortcomings in revenue collection.

In September last year, the World Bank, heaped praise on President Magufuli for prioritising the clamp down on corruption, improving public administration, tightening controls on public consumption expenditures as well as managing public resources for improved social outcomes.

As he seeks re-election, the Head of State, who is getting a major boost by being backed up in his bid, he boasts of vast upsurge in revenue collection.

Monthly revenue collection has since increased from an average 850bn/- in 2015 to 1.3tri/- in December last year.

"In December last year, TRA (Tanzania Revenue Collection) collected a record 1,987trn/- in the history of our country. In terms of non-tax revenue, income increased from 688.7bn/- in 2014/15 to 2.4tri/- in 2018/19," Dr Magufuli noted in his address while dissolving the Parliament in June this year.

Great strides have also been registered in district councils as revenue collection increased from 402.66bn/- in 2015/16 to 661bn/- in the Financial Year (FY) 2018/2019.

That could be translated to domestic revenue rising from 11tri/- in FY 2014/15 to 18.5tri/- in 2018/19.

The president also took action to ensure judicious use of government funds by, among other measures, reducing to a great extent, wasteful foreign trips, seminars, workshops, conferences, concerts and fraudulent purchases.

"We also reviewed anew the government structure to enhance efficiency and control unnecessary spending. In the exercise, we were able to reduce the number of ministries from 29 to 22; plus, we merged various institutions, departments and units," the president noted.

His administration revised ministerial structures, independent institutions and departments totaling 116, as a result of which some 17.4bn/- was saved.

Social security funds were also revised and merged to reduce them to two from five that had been very costly to run. Their merger was thus geared at enhancing productivity.

All the changes were not done arbitrarily or by one person, but by approval of the members of Parliament, some of whom are also seeking re-election while some have called it quits.

Increased revenue to a huge extent has in turn facilitated an increase in the development budget from an average 26 per cent to 40 per cent.

The CCM Manifesto clearly outlined how the government was enforcing and would continue to enforce the party's policies between 2010 to 2020 in accordance with the Development Vision 2025 and Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals.

It pledged to propel the nation to middle-income status, that has been attained five years ahead of schedule.

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