Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday came out strongly in support of the Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investments, asking the government to release more development funds to accelerate an industrial driven economy.
Majority MPs nodded to a report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industries, Trade and Environment, which cautioned that failure to adequately finance development projects under the ministry is likely to impede the current industrialisation drive.
Presenting the report covering the past one year, the Committee Chairman, Dr Dalaly Kafumu said the team lauded the government for increased budget towards development projects from 35.38bn/- last year to 42.15bn this year.
However, the committee decried non-disbursement of budget funds that the parliament had endorsed for the ministry.
Dr Kafumu said the committee established that by the second quarter of the financial year, the ministry had not received any money from the treasury, arguing that the trend could affect the industrialisation plan.
By last January, the ministry had received just 7.6bn/- about 19 per cent of the estimated development budget. "This is not good ... it could hold back or discourage implementation of the development projects as planned," said Dr Kafumu.
To revive the country's collapsed industries, the committee recommended full involvement of the private sector in the industrial sector. Ms Hawa Ghasia (Mtwara Rural-CCM) proposed fully incorporation of the issues of land availability and energy to boost investments in the country.
"In fact, the ministry of energy and minerals should wake up... and improve power supply to boost industrial production, particularly in the rural areas," she said.
Lawmaker for Maswa East, Dr Stanslaus Nyongo (CCM), argued for more funding, saying the ministry's development budget was key to effective implementation of its planned projects.