Govt urged to address challenges to economic freedom

02Jan 2016
Guardian On Sunday
Govt urged to address challenges to economic freedom

Favourtism, hiring employers, contract jobs as well as low minimum wage are among factors impacting on national economic freedom.

Finance minister, Philip Mpango (r)

Among ten factors includes business regulations, extra payments, bribes, administrative requirements, bureaucratic costs, conscriptions and centralized collective bargaining.
This was revealed recently in the city by the Executive Director of Uhuru Initiative for Police and Education(UIPE), Isack Danford, said in an interview on the sidelines of launching of the Economic Freedom of the World annual report -2015 which ranks Tanzania 82 out of 157 countries.
Danford said the country would do much better in economic freedom if the government addressed the barriers to economy.
The Director noted that Tanzania has a lot of potential compared to other East African countries including Kenya, Rwanda Uganda and Burundi despite lagging behind in economic freedom.
He said non tariff barriers, standard deviation of tariff rates and investment restrictions are the main barriers for the economic freedom of the country.
“We are going to meet in April with various economic stakeholders from the public and private institutions to discuss the measures to resolve economic freedom barriers in the country” he said.
According to him, there is need to influence public policies towards the promotion of free market based solutions to Tanzania’s socio-economic problems and, to educate the society on the right of the individual to contract, trade and operate in the market free of constraint.
Economic Freedom of the World, measures the economic freedom (levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property, rule of law, by analyzing the policies and institutions of 157 countries and territories.
Ranking countries based on economic freedom, which is measured in five areas: size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation of credit, labour and business.
The report, based on 2013 statistics, and released last year, ranks the country at 82 position in World Economic Freedom moving ten position from 92 position, the 2014 ranking.
Hong Kong and Singapore, once again, occupied the top two positions. Other nations in the top ten positions include New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Jordan, Ireland, Canada, the United Kingdom and Chile.
The report records the lowest ranked countries as Angola, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Algeria, Argentina, Syria, Chad, Libya, the Republic of Congo and Venezuela.
Nations in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per-capita GDP of $38,601 in 2013, compared to $6,986 for bottom quartile nations (2013, PPP constant 2011 US$)
In the top quartile, the average income of the poorest 10% was $9,881, compared to $1,629 in the bottom quartile in 2013 (2013 PPP constant 2011 US$).

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