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Financial discipline helped ministries improve, house told

FINANCIAL discipline in expenditures by ministries and government institutions in Zanzibar have greatly improved, the House of Representatives heard here yesterday.

The House's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) analysis found that many ministries and institutions have taken initiatives to address queries, which the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) had raised in his audit report.

Committee Vice-Chairperson Shaib Said Ali, presenting the team's report summary in the house yesterday, noted that despite the improved financial discipline, the government has to work on various issues to ensure that execution of its plans observe the existing laws, rules and regulations.

Mr Said cited lack of detailed analyses and researches on various revenue sources; insufficient attention in execution of public procurement rules; and improper record keeping of payment documents as the problematic areas in the government.

"The committee has discovered that there is still a need for the government to conduct analyses and detailed studies on its revenue sources to sustain the country's development plans and budgets," said the vice-chairperson, decrying the chronic problem of poor record keeping even for payments involving colossal amount of money.

The committee reminded the accounting officers in the ministries and public institutions to strictly manage public resources and ensure that all payments have properly documented evidences.

The oversight committee further decried undue delays in the execution of various development projects due to, among others, ineffective consultant engineers and contractors as well as unavailability of funds and construction materials.

"These delays affect the government expenditures, leading to increasing project costs," Mr Said told the house, citing Ole-Kengeja road and construction of Daya and Makunduchi vocational training centres as some of the delayed projects.

The committee informed members of the house that its financial analyses have shown that the Shipping Corporation of Zanzibar generate over 614m/- profit in the 2016/17 fiscal year, a great improvement from the 553m/- loss recorded in the previous year.

But, the committee warned that the corporation is still overwhelmed by many operational risks, citing insufficient revenues to sustain its operations and huge debts as some of the threats.

Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC), one of the oldest firms in the isles, suffered a 5.2bn/- loss in the period under review due to fluctuating production of cloves in the major and minor harvest seasons, the committee reported.

TANZANIA is among the countries in East and ...

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Mwandishi: DAILY NEWS Reporter in Zanzibar

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