Dar es Salaam. Business leaders have called for a clear roadmap on the implementation of the blueprint for improvement of Tanzania’s business climate.
The blueprint, which the government adopted recently, seeks to harmonize business policies, laws, regulations, fees, taxes and levies. Presenting the 2018/19 Budget in Parliament last month, Finance and Planning minister Philip Mpango said implementation of the blueprint would start during the 2018/19 financial year.
“In a bid to stimulate industrial development, the government will direct more efforts on the implementation of the Blueprint for Regulatory Reform to Improve Business Environment for Tanzania in order to attract private sector investment, particularly in textiles, leather and meat; fish, edible oil, medicines and medical equipment; food and animal feeds and mining,” he said.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Textiles and Garments Manufacturers Association of Tanzania (Tegamat) executive secretary, Mr Adam Zuku, said implementation of the adopted document requires a legal implementation instrument if the government was genuinely intent on removing hurdles impeding businesses.
Agricultural Council of Tanzania policy director Timothy Mmbaga added that this would help to curb bureaucracy in the course of the blueprint’s implementation. Mr Zuku said it was currently unclear on who had the mandate to implement the blueprint between the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Prime Minister’s Office.
His sentiments were echoed by Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) executive director Godfrey Simbeye, who said that for the government to walk the talk on the implementation of the document, disciplined and coordinated implementation by all stakeholders was of paramount importance.
He said TPSF, for its part, was willing to engage the private sector through various associations to systematically work with the relevant government ministries, departments and agencies. He added that the private sector had already organised clusters that would engage ministries, departments and agencies in the course of implementation.
“It is our responsibility we, as the private sector, to push the government to come up with a workable action plan as soon as possible,” Mr Simbeye said during a breakfast meeting that brought together business leaders from various sectors.
An economist and business expert, Dr Donath Olomi, said a regulatory impact assessment should be undertaken when changing policies, laws and regulations that impact businesses. “This is important in order to avoid unintended adverse impact, and ensure reasonable policy consistency.
“The regulations should be fair. They should not be treated as the government’s means of revenue collection, but as a catalyst for stimulating investment,” Dr Olomi said.
He also expressed the need for an action plan by having progress reports on a quarterly or half-year basis on the implementation of the blueprint.
“If effectively and consistently implemented, the blueprint will undoubtedly lead to improvement in the competitiveness and attractiveness of Tanzania to domestic and international investors,” Dr Olomi noted.
CEO Roundtable of Tanzania chief executive Santina Benson said for the intended results of the blueprint be realised, the government should come up with a prioritized implementation plan.
Source: The Citizen