Dodoma – The Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, disclosed that the government has so far paid over 25bn/- as arrears payments for teachers in the country.
Debating budget estimates for the President’s Office before the National Assembly here, the minister revealed that in the 2014/2015 financial year teachers demands presented were 19,631,843,225/-.
However, he pointed out that after conducting verification for the demands, we discovered that genuine arrears totalled 5,665,772,117/-. The minister further said that in 2015/2016 financial year, teachers’ demands were 29.8bn/-, but after the verification, genuine payments were found to be 20,125,578,770/-.
“All the genuine payments approved have been paid to the teachers. Effective payments of the arrears is being delayed because the government must be satisfied first of their validity,” Dr Mpango clarified.
He gave an example in one transaction where a teacher had claimed 600m/-, but after verification it was discovered that the person was entitled to only 600,000/-. He added that there were incidences where a teacher submitted a claim for a second time.
The government, he said, recognised contributions made by teachers and assured them that their arrears would be paid immediately after verification.
Dr Mpango said that the government had set aside a total sum of 17.7bn/- to pay teachers who supervised national examinations for Form II and Form IV in 2014. The amount had already been forwarded to all regional secretariats by last October.
He said that the Regional Administration and Local Government presented additional payments of 6,846,552,000/-, the amount which was under verification. The minister pointed out that such arrears would be paid once the verification process was over.
Minister Mpango also brushed aside claims by the opposition parties that the Treasury was found empty when the Firth Phase government under President John Magufuli took office.
He told the House that when the new government took the throne there were several issues, including construction of roads, water and electricity distribution in several villages, payment of salaries and other allowances for civil servants, among others.
Reacting to specific allegations by Peter Msigwa (Iringa Urban-Chadema), the minister acknowledged existence of some challenges inherited from the Fourth Phase Government, which was normal like on areas including collection of tax, among others.
But the minister was quick to point out that the government continued to fund functions of all the three pillars, including the Parliament, payments of arrears for contractor and civil servants without problem.
He said that the policy support instrument and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which conduct free analysis on the economic trend, were in the country last December and nowhere in their report was the Tanzanian’s Treasury said to be empty.
SOURCE: Tanzania Daily News