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New investment plan in the offing

Wednesday April 14 2021
Investor pic

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and MPs observe a moment of silence in Parliament yesterday in remembrance of former President John Magufuli, former Zanzibar First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad and other senior government officials who died in recent months. Mr Majaliwa later presented his office’s 2021/22 budget estimates to set the ball rolling in the tabling of ministerial budgets for the next financial year. PHOTO | EDWIN MJWAHUZI

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. The government is working out a new strategy in an effort to stimulate investment, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa revealed yesterday.

Requesting Parliament in Dodoma to endorse a total of Sh116.784 billion for the Prime Minister’s Office and another Sh128.873 billion for the Parliament fund for the financial year 2021/22, Mr Majaliwa said the preparation of the strategy follows the completion of a comprehensive analysis of the implementation of the National Investment Policy of 1996.

“Following the analysis, the government is now preparing a National Investment Development Strategy which will strengthen they coordination, management, promotion and monitoring of investment issues under the PMO,” he said.

Tanzania’s investment activities are currently guided by the country’s Investment Act of 1997, the National Investment Promotion Policy of 1996 and the Long-term Perspective Plan 2011/12–2025/26.

Introduction of the legislative pieces resulted in the creation of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).

However, with the world increasingly globalizing amid a changing economic landscape, there has been the need for a comprehensive approach to attracting investments.

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Though there have been some achievements during the past two decades, analysts believe the sector was still facing challenges in a number of thematic areas, including investment coordination; investment promotion; investment facilitation; regional and international integration; land for investment; investment financing and incentives, and technology development.

It was due to some of the issues highlighted above that the 2019/20 audit report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) noted that the value of newly-registered projects under TIC has been going down during the past years.

The CAG says in his audit report that the value of investments dropped to $1.853 billion in the 2019/20 financial year.

That was a massive drop from projects worth $7.7 billion that TIC registered during the 2015/16 financial year, the CAG, Mr Charles Kichere, says, blaming the trend on a 2015 decision to scrap some incentives to investors.

The decision, which was legalized through the 2015 Finance Act, removed expansion of projects from the category of ventures that were eligible for fiscal incentives.

And, Mr Majaliwa told the House yesterday that investors Tanzania was still doing relatively fine in its endeavor to attract investors, noting that during the 2020/21 financial year, TIC has so far registered 100 projects which are expected to bring in investment worth $536.04 million and create 9,085 jobs.

“The manufacturing sector along has attracted 64 projects which will investments to the tune of $370.41 million,” he said.

The National Investment Development Strategy, Mr Majaliwa said, will be completed during the financial year 2021/22.

“This will entail improving the investment infrastructure in all regions so as to attract investors; coordinating the implementation of the national investment climate improvement roadmap; strengthening the processing of promoting investment opportunities and improving accessibility of investment information….,” said Mr Majaliwa.

In its remarks, the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and Local Governments Affairs urged the government to expedite the introduction of investment guidelines and that they (the guidelines) must be published online to help investors to understand what they are required to do before they start asking for permits to invest in any particular area.

The committee, chaired by Mr Humphrey Polepole, wants the government to ensure that investment permits were issued within a period of seven working days if the investor in question has abided by the laws and regulations governing the particular sector.

“The government should issue more incentives to foreign investors who have shown interest in investing in the mega projects in the country. The incentives should entail improving policy, legal and procedural requirements as a way of giving them the confidence to raise the value of their investments in the country,” the committee said.

The government could, among other issues, expedite the establishment of a national investment database, the committee said.

According to Mr Majaliwa, the government’s operational approach will be geared towards undertaking several major issues during the 2021/22 financial year.

These include honouring and maintaining the vision of the late President John Magufuli on the protection of Tanzania’s natural resources; discipline in public expenditure, implementation of strategic projects of national importance, promoting Kiswahili language, fighting corruption, taking care of the poor and underrated segment of the society as well as maintaining the national unity.

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