CTI calls for cut in number of regulatory bodies, levies

20Mar 2016
Felister Peter
Guardian On Sunday
CTI calls for cut in number of regulatory bodies, levies

THE Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) has requested the government to reduce the number of regulatory authorities and tax charges for local products in order to protect and boost the industrial sector.

Leodegar Tenga

It claimed that often times agro products delay to reach the market place due to lack of approval from the Tanzania Bureau of Statistics (TBS), Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and ministries.

CTI Chairman Leodegar Tenga espressed the concerns on Friday to the parliamentary committee on industry, trade and environment in Dar es Salaam.

He said apart from reducing levies, the government should also harmonize regulations and functions performed by different other authorities.

“We need a stable tax system and financial policy to ensure sustainable productivity and promotion of investment” he said.

He commended the newly introduced system whereby the private sector is involved in preparation of government budget for specific fiscal year.

The CTI boss noted that suggestions by the private sector should be included in the budget if the country is to ensure sustainable economic growth instead of the short-term revenue objectives planned annually by revenue collection authorities.

Tenga underscored the need to enhance the customs administration to control smuggling and importation of counterfeit and sub –standard goods. He said the move will ensure fair competition between imported and locally manufactured products.

“We are working closely with TRA, TFDA, TBS and the Ministry for Trade, Industry and Investment to address the problem,” he noted.

He said for the past seven years the industrial sector has been growing by 7 percent. He said its contribution in the national income is 7 percent and that it has employed 11 per cent of the labour force in five years.

He said the industry production has been growing by 6.8 percent in two years while its contribution in the country’s export has reached 23.3 per cent.

“We are committed to support the country’s efforts towards implementation of the national development vision that aim to change Tanzania into a middle income country by 2025,” he said.

For his part, plant manager at Tanga cement, Eng Benedict Lema urged the government to support technical colleges for them to produce graduates with hands-on skills.

Representing one of the toothpaste manufacturing factories, Farida Rubanza called on the government to consider reduction of import levy for raw materials that are not available in the country.

She said they were paying a levy of 10 percent in previous years but it has now been doubled to 25 per cent.
Hussein Kamote from CTI suggested for the government to establish special economic zones in every region to fasten industrial development.

He said local manufacturers must be protected and favoured through introduction incentives.
Meanwhile, the committee chairperson, Vicky Kamata said their concerns will be submitted to the government for action.

She said the government is willing to give them incentives but they should also implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy and ensure good relationship with surrounding communities.