Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bunge committee wants sitting allowances scrapped to raise project funds

10:22:00 AM - By Hisia 0

Dodoma. The Parliamentary committee for Local Authority Accounts Committee (LAAC) yesterday advised the government to remove MPS seating allowance and allocate the fund to other crucial groups in the country.
The committee advised that the allowances should be re-allocated to other crucial groups if the government will be in bad economic position to allocate fund to both sides.
The committee chairman, Dr Khamis Kigwangala told the parliament that the government should focus at allocating fund for nurses, teachers, agriculture extension officers and doctors especially in rural areas.
Dr Kigwangala was presenting his committee’s report on the implementation of various activities under the Prime Minister’s Office.
“We cannot continue telling nurses, teachers and other servants that the government has no money, this is not a strong reason for someone who works in difficult environment, we must think on how to motivate these servants especially in rural areas,” he said.
He said it was difficult to tell doctors that the government has no money to pay them on call allowances while the same government paying other officials extra duty allowances was something that discourages servants.
“If that is a case, then we should agree to remove sitting allowances and all extra duty allowances in our administrative system, we should avoid paying allowances to some people and neglect others,” he said.
He added that the government was facing a challenge of dealing with a large number of servants who have lost trust and motivation to fulfill their duties.
“ If we real want to achieve our goals, Tanzania as a nation must be creative and come out with new ideas that will motivate civil servants to work hard,” said Dr Kigwangala.
So far the sitting allowances for MPs has been increased from Sh200,000 to Sh300,000 starting on Tuesday this week. The increase is equivalent to 50 percent. The parliamentary session will therefore cost the nation Sh18.5 billion in the period of 52 days.
In 2011, the daily sitting allowance for an MP was increased by more close to over 285.7 per cent. The amount went up by almost three times from Sh70,000 to a whopping Sh200,000 per day.
In June 2011, the then Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament, Mr Zitto Kabwe, presented a letter in which he rejected his sitting allowance on the grounds that MPs were not supposed to be paid for sitting, arguing that their job, for which they receive monthly salaries, was to sit at the Bunge and debate.

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