A TOTAL of 4,652 mining exploration licences were issued by the government in the financial year 2020/2021, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has revealed.
The premier assured of government's commitment to continue prioritising small and medium scale miners by allocating mining plots and providing them with the needed technological support in the upcoming fiscal year 2021/2022.
Premier Majaliwa made the assurance in Parliament when tabling the 2021/2022 budget estimates for his office.
He told the House that the government has managed to strengthen mineral trading centres, a move that has played a great role in curbing smuggling of gemstones and thus enabling the country to benefit from the natural wealth.
"Until February 2021, a total of 399.33bn/- being 72 per cent of the 547.74bn/- target was collected out of mineral business," he said, adding that the government would continue taking initiatives to improve the sector.
Mr Majaliwa added that in the year 2019, performance of the mining sector grew by 17.7 per cent as a result of leading in the foreign export as well as increased government revenue.
According to him, one among the key achievements in the mining sector was the obtaining of the biggest Tanzanite gemstones of 9.27 kg, 6.33kg and 5.27kg worth of 12.59bn/- one of the Mirerani based small scale miner, Mr Saniniu Laizer.
"The government efforts have seen an increase of mining markets from 28 to 39 while Mining trading centres have been increased from 28 to 41 between January 2020 and February 2021," he said.
The markets, according to him, have increased competence and opened in the mineral business, curb smuggling and ensure safety of sellers and buyers. This has enabled the government to increase revenue collection.
In another development, the Prime Minister said the government would continue electrifying all villages by ensuring implementation of phase three of the Rural Electricity Agency (REA) covers all the remaining villages which are 1,974 in total.
He maintained that the government would continue to supervise construction of electricity power projects as well as implementation of the crude oil pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania.
The strategic projects aim at enabling the country to strengthen its production and supply of electricity at low cost as part of government's continued grand plan to build a competitive industrial economy.
"By March this year, the construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydro Electricity Power Plant had reached 45 per cent of the completion. The project that is worth 6.55 tri/- is expected to add 2,115 MW to the national grid," explained Mr Majaliwa.
He said the project has created over 7,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, adding the construction of the Rusumo power project along Kagera river that is aimed at produce 80 MW has reached 75.3 per cent of its completion.
"Implementation of power projects goes together with construction of transmission lines of 40KV from Rufiji- Chalinze-Kinyerezi and Chalinze-Dodoma," he said, adding that the government is also constructing a transmission line of 220KV for the high speed train that will be operating on then Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
He told the House that the first phase of the construction of the 220kv transmission line for the SGR project from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro has been completed by 99 per cent.