13 June 2012

Tanzania: Privatisation 'Creates Jobs'

Dodoma — PRIVATISATION has created jobs and reduced poverty in the country, the National Assembly was told here on Tuesday. Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Ms Janet Mbene said some of the privatized factories, which were on the verge of collapsing, were now doing well.

The deputy minister was answering Ms Magdalena Hamisi Sakaya (Special Seats - CUF) who had wanted to know the fate of privatized factories that were idle or turned into godowns contrary to sale agreements. Ms Sakaya said the government should repossess all idle factories as well as those turned into godowns.

Ms Mbene said many privatized factories were revived and created thousands of jobs. She said some of the factories were exporting goods and others had increased supply to the domestic markets. She said apart from increasing employment opportunities, privatization has enabled the country to transfer technology and enhance skills of Tanzanians in various fields.

The deputy minister, however, admitted that there were cases where some investors closed their factories or turned them into warehouses contrary to sales agreements. "These are challenges and the government will address them. We are going to inspect all privatized factories and act accordingly," the deputy minister told the House.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly was told on Tuesday that the government was looking for a solution to the problem of double taxation for goods bought in Zanzibar and brought to the mainland. Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Ms Saada Mkuya Salum, said the problem would be solved during the 2012/2013 financial year.

"This is a serious problem and the government is aware of it. The problem will be solved during this financial year," the deputy minister said. She said the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) operates in the mainland and Zanzibar. "It is surprising for one country to have separate taxation systems," the deputy minister noted.

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