March 12, 2020 / 1:59 PM / in 17 days

Tanzania to raise spending 5% in 2020/21, finance minister says

DAR ES SALAAM, March 12 (Reuters) - Tanzania plans to increase government spending by 5.3% in the fiscal year starting in July to 34.88 trillion shillings ($15.19 billion) to fund requirements for a general election due in October, the finance minister said.

Foreign investment in the East African nation has fallen following interventions in business by the government of President John Magufuli, who was elected in 2015.

But his government has managed to secure billions of dollars for the construction of a new rail line, revival of the national airline and the construction of a hydro-power plant.

The new budget proposals aim to pay for “major strategic projects,” extra spending related to the election and the repayment of government debt, Finance Minister Philip Mpango told lawmakers late on Wednesday.

The World Bank estimates that East Africa’s third-largest economy will grow 5.8% in 2020 compared with an estimated 5.6% last year, before rising to 6.1% in 2021. ($1 = 2,297.0000 Tanzanian shillings) (Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen, Editing by Giulia Paravicini and Timothy Heritage)

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