Why MPs call for change in allocation of students loans
Dar es Salaam. The matter of how much money actually goes into development projects in the ministry of Education became the subject of debate in Parliament this week with MPs, both from the ruling party and Opposition, calling for a change in allocations in the ministry to provide the correct picture on the issue.
This was after the Education, Science and Technology minister, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, tabled her docket’s budget on Monday and revealed that Sh863 billion would go to fund development projects in the 2019/20 financial year. She said the development budget amounts to 62 per cent of the total budget of about Sh1.4 trillion, a rare feat in the Tanzanian budgetary process.
But it turned out that more than half of the development budget (Sh450 billion) would go to the Higher Students’ Loans Board (Heslb), which, according to the MPs, was not providing the correct picture of the actual amount going to fund development projects.
They, then, called for the creation of a separate budgetary vote for the Heslb to differentiate the funds allocated to the board from those that are set actually for development projects. This, they said, will also give the loans board some sort of financial autonomy.
The vice chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Social Services Juma Nkamia was the first to comment on the issue when he tabled the committee’s views on the budget. He said the call for the creation of a separate vote for Heslb was not new.
“For the umpteenth time, the committee proposes that the loans board gets its own vote, which would make all the difference in as far as budgetary issues are concerned,’’ Mr Nkamia said in Parliament on Monday