Govt praises over budget upload on the internet

An NGO yesterday showered praise on the government move to upload on the internet the national budget books days ahead of its tabling in Dodoma today.

The NGO - Sikika - says the move will empower citizens in following up the budget discussion and advise the government and Members of Parliament (MPs) on budgetary pressing issues.

Sikika Executive Director, Irenei Kiria said access to government budget books in the past was unsystematic, denying citizens the opportunity to follow up on budget issues.

“For several years, Sikika and other civil society organisations have repeatedly been asking the government to publish the budget books online with user-friendly version,” Mr Kiria said in a statement, noting that the calls have finally been answered.

The NGO encouraged all Tanzanians to visit the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs’ website and read the budget which he described as critical for development. However, Sikika urged the government to upload the budget in user-friendly format, arguing that the current PDF version was difficult to use in analysing data.

According to a 2012 World Bank report, a mere 11 per cent of Tanzanians use internet, with the remote rural areas still alienated from the service. The government, in the 2013/14 budget estimates scheduled for tabling this afternoon, plans to spend 360bn/- on allowances, a 15 per cent rise from the previous financial year.

The government has set aside 163bn/- for travel allowances and 79bn/- for workshops while hospitality portfolio gets 24bn/-. “Overall, the coming budget has 714bn/- allocated for unnecessary expenditures,” charged Sikika.
Source: The Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam
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