CTI agitates for policy development

26Aug 2018
Aisia Rweyemamu
Guardian On Sunday
CTI agitates for policy development

THE Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) has urged the government to fast-track the finalization and implementation of a national private sector development policy and its regulations.

CTI Chairman Dr. Samuel Nyantahe.

CTI said the move is aimed at ensuring the promotion and creation of a competitive business environment for the private sector’s growth.

The policy also seeks to address challenges facing the business community in their day-to-day operations.

The call was made by outgoing CTI Chairman Dr. Samuel Nyantahe yesterday in Dar es Salaam during the confederation’s 25th annual general meeting (AGM) themed ‘The imperative of effective communication and branding for the success of CTI.’

Dr Nyantahe said with the current vision of the fifth phase government on industrialization, the national private sector development policy and its regulations were very important.

“CTI understands there has been a long initiative of the government to prepare a draft on the policy to guide the private sector, but it is not yet completed,” Dr. Nyantahe explained.

He added that CTI had the opportunity to participate in the consultations on the policy, which were coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The private sector seeks, among other things, to address the challenges facing the business community in day-to-day operations,” he said.

However, he further said, CTI had noted that despite various achievements the fifth government has made in creating an enabling environment for the industrial sector to grow, manufacturers were still faced with a number of challenges which limit their performance.

He named some of the challenges as an unpredictable fiscal and taxation policy, and an unpredictable tax regime which does not send positive signals to existing industries that need to grow and to new investors who desire to invest in the country.

“We are of the view that fiscal policies should not only look at maximizing government revenue but should also promote economic growth for increased future revenue,” the chairman pointed out.

He added that the tax regime and fiscal policies must be growth-oriented to encourage rapid economic development.

Dr Nyantahe said it was important as a country to have a predictable tax and fiscal policy regime that will enable manufacturers to plan in advance.

He identified other challenges facing manufacturers in Tanzania as including unreliable power supply, leading most manufacturers to resort to alternative but expensive sources of power, thus reducing the competitive edge of local industries.

Lack of concrete strategies to protect local manufacturers, thus leading to having cheap imports of industrial goods was another challenge. To address this, he called on the government to tighten customs control.

Others were unjustified uplifts on the value of imported goods for manufacturing and delays in securing residence and work permits for expatriate employees, which affect industries.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Ludovick Nduhiye said the government recognized the remarkable contribution of the industrial sector to the growth of the national economy.

According to Nduhiye, in 2017 the industrial contribution to the GDP was 5.5 per cent, which was better than 4.8 per cent achieved in2016, while the sector’s annual growth was 7.1 per cent, slightly lower than 7.8 per cent posted in 2016.

He added that the positive achievements recorded in the manufacturing sector gave the government and stakeholders an assurance that the country could achieve its long-term development objectives.

Nduhiye explained that the government understood the challenges hindering rapid industrialization in Tanzania, some of which were those already identified by CTI.

He added that the fifth government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, in partnership with the private sector, had developed a blue print for improving the business environment with a view to addressing the challenges.

 Speaking at the meeting, CTI First Vice-Chairman Jayesh Shah said the confederation commend the plan and actions of the government in addressing the challenges facing the industrial sector, including fighting systemic corruption and promoting good governance in general.

Shah added that CTI believed that one way of enabling the private sector to fulfill its role as the engine of the growth was to make it more competitive domestically and in the subregion.

“Therefore, efforts to solve the existing challenges must be enhanced and the nagging problems sorted out without further delays,” Shah requested.

He added that CTI was very proud of the close working relationship with the government which has been established over the years.

The AGM was attended by various stakeholders including Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Chairman Dr. Reginald Mengi.

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