THE government has emphatically stated that funds that are financing ongoing development projects in various parts of the country are within the budgets approved by the Parliament.
Speaking in a special local radio programme yesterday, the Chief Government Spokesperson, Dr Hassan Abbasi, said every parliamentary meeting has been approving development budgets to finance projects, adding that there has never been any sort of secrecy surrounding funds for development projects.
“All ongoing development projects in the country are financed by funds allocated as per the country’s laws, rules and regulations. The funds are deliberated on and approved by the House,” Dr Abbasi insisted.
Giving an example of the flagship project of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Dr Abbasi who also serves as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Arts, Culture and Sport, noted that some individuals have been peddling false information on the money that finances the projects, claiming that its source is not known.
In his clarification, Dr Abbasi said the Parliament started approving funds for the SGR project in the 2017/2018 budget through Vote 2,005, Project Number 4,281 in the transport sector.
The Permanent Secretary reminded the public that though the country is in the election campaign period, government activities are also going on as usual.
He said despite the ongoing election campaigns in the country, Tanzanians have the right to be updated on the development of projects that are under implementation.
Touching on the government resolve to purchase commercial aircraft, he said the decision has continued to yield positive results as the planes have helped to create jobs. At least 400 direct employment opportunities have been created.
The new planes also generate revenue whereby the monthly revenues of the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) have gone up from 2.5bn/- to 15bn/-.
The company now pays more taxes that go to serve Tanzanians.
He trashed reports that the purchase of the aircraft is done in secrecy and without Parliament-approved funds.
He wondered whether those who issue such claims live in Tanzania.
He said the purchase of the planes was done as per public procurement laws as amended in 2016 which allow, with aim of getting better price and value for money, public institutions to buy directly from manufacturers instead of purchasing through agents who tend to inflate prices.
"If there is anyone who had agents for purchasing these planes should consider themselves on the losing side because buying directly from manufacturers enabled the government to get the planes at cheaper prices," Dr Abbasi noted.
He asked Tanzanians to ignore some individuals who claim that the source of funds used to purchase the planes is not known.
Citing budgets of the financial years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2019/20 from the Acquisition of New Aircrafts-ATCL, Dr Abbasi said for about four consecutive years the government has been allocating about 500bn/- each year for purchase of the planes, wondering why such individuals are still expressing doubt on the project.
Speaking on the SGR and the Nyerere Hydropower Power projects, he said the implementation of the two projects involved local and foreign contractors.
For instance, the SGR section from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro had 40 contractors who competed in the tender and the Morogoro-Dodoma attracted 36 bidders.
About the Nyerere Hydropower project, he said the tender was announced and about four companies from Africa, Europe and Asia competed.
He insisted that all funds for implementing the projects were allocated and endorsed by the Parliament.