ARUSHA The East African Community (EAC) will be operating at an estimated amount of over $ 101 million in financial Financial Year 2016/2017 according to the budget presented at the legislature in Arusha.
The budget was presented by Tanzania Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, Dr Susan Kolimba on Thursday May 26, 2016 on behalf of the Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers, Dr. Augustine Mahiga.
The EAC Political Federation is yet a key priority area on the agenda in the coming Financial Year as the mode of the regional Constitution making process commences.
The Minister said draft Bills for the establishment of the East African Monetary Institute and the East African Statistics Bureau were been developed and negotiated by the Partner States. She said that in a bid to harmonise tax regimes, the EAC Secretariat had continued with efforts for closed co-ordination of fiscal policies with focus on critical areas for harmonization.
“So far, domestic Tax Harmonization Policy has been drafted by the Secretariat and is being peer reviewed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before submission to the relevant Organs of the Community for consideration” the Minister said.
Although estimates dropped from $110,660,098 million the year, the budget prioritizes the full implementation of the EAC Single Customs Territory, enhanced implementation of the Common Market Protocol especially additional commitments and interconnectivity of border immigration systems and procedures across Partner States and enhancement of productivity and value addition in key productive sectors.
Kolimba told the house that body seeks to develop cross-border infrastructure and harmonization of laws, policies and standards in respective sub-sectors. She says implementation of a liberalized EAC airspace, a One Area Network in telecommunications and the implementation of EAC Peace and Security initiatives still remain the region’s priority.
The 2016/2017 Budget is to be financed by Partner State contributions (US$47,565,377) compared to US$ 47 566,973 in the current Financial Year; Development Partners support (US$46,717,601) which is a significant drop from US$ 58,555,635 of the previous year. The Member Universities will inject US$ 431, 923, General Reserves US$ 6,354, 248 and miscellaneous revenue US$ 305,440.
Under Infrastructure development, the Minister informed the House of on-going construction works especially on the Northern Corridor. The Minister said the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi road project and the second multinational road projects in the region had commenced.
Below are the estimated budget allocations for sectors of Major concern