Posted: Saturday May 26, 2012 3:56 AM BT
The execution of the annual government budget has been contradicting long-term plans, according to Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, a renowned economist and chairman of the Civic United Front (CUF).
“We have a five-year plan which is now one-year old, but the 2011 government budget has not followed the major tenets of the plan,” said Prof Lipumba, who used to lecture on economics at the University of Dar es Salaam before joining active politics in the 1990s.
According to him, there are several plans such as Mini Tiger Plan for Industrialisation, the Five-Year Development Plan (2011-2015), Vision 2025, and MKUKUTA, whose priorities are being ignored during implementation of annual budgets.
He cited another case of contradiction between long-term plan and budget implementation as the fact that the forthcoming budget set to be tabled in the middle of next month is likely to have a negative effect on the actualisation of the five-year development plan.
“When one reads the guidelines for the next budget, there is a project for reduction of development expenditure. This means that the plan is ignored,” he said.He also noted that there was a problem of co-ordination and harmonization of plans, causing confusion during implementation.
The host of the forum who is also the Repoa executive director, Prof Samwel Wangwe, listed other challenges facing the country in managing the economy as overemphasis on pilot projects without taking concrete actions. He named others as inability to have a practical way of transforming the informal sector, weakness in integrating and translating national plans into local communities for effective implementation and shortcomings affecting human resource development such as poor incentives and lack of enough specialised skills.
“We are now talking about discovery of huge gas reserves and numerous minerals, but for the past 15 years we have not trained mining economists, lawyers and petrol chemists,” said Prof Wangwe in the forum titled; “Unleashing Growth Potentials in Tanzania-Lessons and the Way Forward in Creating Inclusive Growth.”
Reading the opening speech on behalf of President Jakaya Kikwete, the deputy minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Ms Saada Salum, said the country was on the right track in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially in the areas of social services.
This article was published in The Citizen newspaper and is also available at the following link: http://thecitizen.co.tz/news/4-national-news/22617-lipumbatake-govt-plans-seriously.html