Thursday, June 14, 2018

Billions set aside for research in Tanzania

The government is expected to spend about Sh10

The government is expected to spend about Sh10 billion on research into industrial development during the 2018/19 financial year. PHOTO | FILE 

By Louis Kolumbia @Collouis1999 lkolumbia@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The government is expected to spend Sh10 billion for carrying out research on development of industrial activities during the 2018/19 fiscal year.

Tabling the budget estimates of the ministry of Industries, Trade and Investments in Parliament in Dodoma last month, the docket minister, Mr Charles Mwijage said research activities will be implemented by the three institutions in the ministry.

He named the institutions as the Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization (Tirdo), the Tanzania Engineering and Manufacturing Design Organization (Temdo) and the Centre for Agricultural Mechanization and Rural Technology (Camartec).

Mr Mwijage said the funds allocated for implementing research activities during the coming fiscal year was Sh3.5 billion more as compared to Sh6.5 billion set aside for a similar purpose in the 2017/18 fiscal year.

During the 2018/19 financial year, he said Tirdo is expected to ensure industrial production, coal, fuel and gas conform to international standards, leather environmental impacts are reduced and that accreditation for food, environment, chemistry and engineering equipment laboratories is improved.

According to him, Tirdo is also expected to verify accreditation of iron and steel metallurgy laboratories, servicing environment, equipment used in food and chemistry laboratories and implementation of other projects intended to invent new technology in the country.

Furthermore, he said during the said fiscal year, Temdo is expected to build capacity to small and medium entrepreneurs and encourage them to start industries to be charged with production and assembling of machineries.

He said Temdo is also required to improve workshops and architecture offices, review laws and regulations for respective institutions and build capacity of staffs by organizing short term and medium trainings.

Mr Mwijage told the parliament that Temdo will implement programs that will ensure value addition is realized to agricultural products, cold rooms for preservation of products is invented and innovation of technology that encourage use of local raw materials in production of ceramic tiles is encouraged.

“Temdo is also expected to research and reveal actual demands of locally produced technology and create enabling climate in introduction of One District One Factory (ODOF) systems,” he said.

According to him, during the coming financial year, Camartec is expected to continue research on invention of new technology that will increase efficiency and reduce manual works in agricultural activities.

He noted that inventing new agricultural technology, designing regulations for inspection and trials to agricultural technologies and strengthening centres for research infrastructure will be among prioritized functions of Camartec.

However, unlike the 2017/18 fiscal year when government allocated Sh122. 215 billion budget, the ministry has received Sh143.334 billion budget in the 2018/19 fiscal year.

While the government has allocated Sh93.025 billion to fund development projects in the coming fiscal year out of the Sh143.334 billion budget, Sh73.84 billion was set aside during the 2017/18 financial year, meaning funds set to serve that purpose have increased by Sh26.45 billion.

Furthermore, analysis on the 2017/18 budget shows that while the government expected to raise Sh73.575 billion domestically, Sh265.309 million of funds intended to fund development projects were expected to be collected from foreign sources.

The coming fiscal year budget shows that while the ministry expected to collect Sh90.5 billion from domestic sources, Sh2.525 billion was expected to be garnered among the foreign sources.

However, review in the implementation of the 2017/18 budget shows that the ministry received Sh47.268 billion out of the total budget as of April 9, 2018.

Mr Mwijage told the parliament that Sh32.64 billion was disbursed for recurrent expenditures and that only Sh14.627 billion funded development projects.

“Institutions in the ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment received Sh11.6 billion of the total development funds disbursed. The remaining Sh3.026 billion funds for development projects was dished to the ministry,” he said.

Debating the ministry’s 2018/19 budget, Babati Rural Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Jitu Soni (CCM), who suggested that more funds to pumped industrial research, noting that the ministry’s research institutions should receive enough money for execution of their activities.

“This is the only way of protecting local industries. Through intensive industrial research companies can lower their production costs and enable them to lower their prices,” he said.

“Low prices of locally produced items will increase their market competition against imported products,” he added.

Mr Soni said investors will be forced to commit business suicide by forcing them to sell their industrial products at higher prices as compared to imported products. “The government should also consider development of other sectors which support industrial growth and prosperity including; agriculture, livestock and fisheries,” he said.

Observation made by Mr Soni was echoed by Mbinga Urban lawmaker, Mr Sixtus Mapunda (CCM), who suggested that there were a need for introduction of an industrial mapping.

“Industrial mapping should enable the government know types of crops which should be grown at certain parts of the country and that then government’s investment decision should be based on what researchers have unveiled in the mapping,” he said.

According to him, research was inevitable exercise if the country was to realize industrialization agenda which he referred as the national strategy.

But, Ndanda Constituency legislator, Mr Cecil Mwambe (Chadema), observed that inadequate disbursement of funds from treasury greatly hindered the ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment to implement various development projects including research.

He blamed the ministry of Finance and Planning for inadequate and untimely disbursement of funds for the projects.

“Treasury is the one limiting the progress of this ministry. The treasury has no good has no good will to the Industries, Trade and Investment minister and deputy minister,” he said, questioning.

“How comes the ministry is provided with 14 per cent of funds for implementing development projects in two years of the implementation of industrialization agenda.”

He cited report made by the Industries, Trade and Environment Parliamentary Committee which established that the ministry received five per cent of allocated funds for development projects in the 2016/17 fiscal.

According to him, report suggests that nine per cent of the funds was dished in the 2017/18 financial year.

Mr Mwambe said it was illogical for the ministry entrusted with the realization of the industrialization strategy to be given with such inadequate funds, yet expecting the country will realize the intended outcome.

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