- Published on Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:38
- Written by ORTON KIISHWEKO
- Hits: 1223
EACH time a national budget is presented, different stakeholders ask what it contains for them. There is a group referred to as the "common man" that constitutes about 80 per cent of the country’s population, most of them rural or peri-urban dwellers.
So what does the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr William Mgimwa 's 15.045tri/- budget have for the common man? As Dr Mgimwa tables his maiden budget in Parliament today, the ordinary 'wananchi' want to know how government expenditure would be re-oriented towards prosperity for all and capture the interests of the common man.
Generally, among other specific aspects, ordinary Tanzanians have asked that it turns out as one to ease their cost of living. In different interviews with the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam yesterday, a number of people said all they cared for was for a bill that would ease the cost of living.
Many too had no idea what a budget is and somewhat unconcerned by the high profile spectacle playing out in Dodoma today. Mcharo Michael (38) an administrator at Tanzania Zambia Railways (Tazara) headquarters in Dar es Salaam, said it should help to ease the cost of food and keep the economy on track. Denis Mukama said it should help to address the massive unemployment.
“It should show that it can help in job creation,” said the tax driver at the Julius Nyerere International Airport. Alphonce Gabriel (32), a guard with the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) at Nyerere Road said the government should not introduce new taxes that can burden the common man.
Peter Mashasi (33), a guard at Dar es Salaam’s Occupational Health Service Hospital, said he had no idea what a budget is and was not aware it would be tabled in Parliament today. Beatrice Msacky (39), a poultry dealer at Tazara area said the budget should focus on increasing domestic revenue collection.
A Bajaj dealer along Nyerere Road, Ahmed Mohammed (42) said it was important for the budget to step up spending on infrastructure development, Works and Transport. But even with the thirst for a pro-people budget, he said, more things should be done differently from the previous year so that it is not business as usual if the people have to see positive results from the plans.
Mwakiborwa David (25), a student with the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) in Dar es Salaam wanted more government spending on technical studies so that the education system is not predominantly theoretical. “On the education part, it should answer Tanzanians’ need for training that can change their attitude from employment bias to self-employment and other forms of business enterprises,” he said.
Reuben Bagenda (37), a shopkeeper at Mwenge in Dar es Salaam urged the government to always take into consideration the interests of the low income earners when formulating its budget. "The budget should favour us (common people) who have suffered most during this critical time of the high cost of living," he said.
Jerommy Masilingi (41), a Pastor at Ukonga in Dar es Salaam said the budget should focus on reducing the cost of living for households. "The family is the basic unit of society, hence it deserves special economic protection. Many families live in abject poverty. As a result they are not in a position to access basic social services, including education and medical services," he said.
An M-Pesa vendor at Buguruni, Sharon Peter (32), said the budget should show support for entrepreneurship. Salim Ahmed (40), a taxi driver at JNIA, called for the abolition of the road licence, saying it would provide financial relief in many families.
Mariam Mugisha (37), a nurse at a Mtongani dispensary in Dar es Salaam wanted a budget that would address the shortage of nurses, a crucial cadre for the provision of health services in the country. "This is an important measure because most public health facilities are understaffed, making it difficult to provide quality health care," she explained.
Generally, all the people looked at the budget as national cake from which they all wanted a piece. It is the biggest challenge for the government but one that has to be done.