The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, said the government’s intention to privatise the industries was to improve efficiency, increase employment and output which would in turn impact positively on the nation’s economy.
“The government’s move to privatise industries was meant to increase efficiency and output hence increased contribution to the national economy and not otherwise. If those industries are defunct, they should be returned to the government so we can get investors to manage them,” he noted.
Mr Mwijage was responding to a supplementary question from Mr Joseph Mbilinyi (Mbeya Urban – Chadema), who wanted to know the government’s move to ensure privatised industries in Mbeya were up and running.
Mr Mbilinyi said the Mbeya Textile industry and ZZK Mbeya which was famous for producing agricultural tools are not working, wondering when the government will have the industries revived. The minister issued a stern warning to the investors who acquired the industries; to comply with the agreements during the privatisations.
He stressed that failure to comply, the investors will lose the industries. He called on the investors to submit implementation programmes to the Treasury Registrar. He said his ministry was working to revive defunct industries and establish new ones in different sectors including milk and cooking oil that will help provide ready markets for local farmers.
Earlier, in his response to Ms Savelina Mwijage (Special Seats - CUF), the minister said that in collaboration with other authorities, his ministry will continue to protect local industries in the country by ensuring imported goods are taxed accordingly and meet the required standards. Ms Saveline wanted the government to state clearly when it plans to revive the defunct industries, especially those located in Kagera Region.
“The government’s aim is to improve the business environment by scraping off unnecessary taxes, but also ensuring there is availability of reliable power, Mr Mwijage explained.
“Talks are already underway between the government and investors both those whose industries are not working well and those that have closed down completely to help revive and have the industries up and running,” the minister said.
He called on the investors to switch to modern technologies in running their industries, noting that most of the industries and factories were using outdated technology.
Mr Mwijage said a research conducted by his ministry in collaboration with the Treasury Registrar has revealed that 37 privatised industries are not working and 24 others are producing below capacity.
According to the Minister, Kagera Region’s NMC Old Rice Mill was closed and the only functioning industry but producing below capacity is the Kagera Tea Company Limited.