Budget aspiring, says think tank

Dar es Salaam. Terming the 2014/2015 Budget ‘aspiring’, the country’s leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services has said the government could have taken more measures to broaden the tax base.

 “The tabled budget is satisfying, taking into consideration its timeliness. It has come at a time when the government is facing two big events ahead. One is the Constitution review and the other is the coming elections,” said Ernest & Young Country Managing Partner Joseph Sheffu.
These two major events, according to Mr Sheffu, will have a significant impact when it comes to implementation of the budget.
“The tax base is still narrow, with the government circumventing on same sources every year. We expected to see stiff and tangible measures of widening the tax base.”
Among the means to broaden its tax base, Ernest and Young (EY), believes that the government could have considered including members of Parliament.
“MPs are our highly respected leaders, so they must lead the way to increasing the tax base,” said Mr Sheffu.
Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) could become good sources of revenue, if the government could come up with measures that will encourage formalisation of the SMEs, he added.
“The agricultural sector also has not been touched. The government has not told us to what extent it contributed to the economy and what measures will be used to improve agriculture. If stiff measures are taken, I am sure we can be able to collect a good sum of revenue from the sector,” said FSDT Technical Manager Jonathan Kasembe.
Speaking during the EY Budget breakfast 2014/15-Tanzania Budget Highlights, TIB Investment Bank Financial Manager Bernard Mono, said that the budget has a bit of relief but he is not impressed by some issues.
“I wish to see more on development expenditure. The government must stop allocating more funds for its recurrent expenditure, it should concentrate on investments so as to create more sources of revenue,” said Mr Mono. To attain value for money in procurement the government will now venture into the bulk purchase system.
However, according to Mr Sheffu, the bulky procurement system may leave local traders and agents with no business

“As the government announced to start procuring direct from manufacturers, this will significantly affect local traders who have invested a lot of money and employs a significant number of Tanzanians.