Tanzania Private Sector Foundation entrusted to Coordinate Private Sector Engagement with the Parliamentary Budget Committee.

Simbeye 2

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, Executive Director – Godfrey Simbeye

14th July, 2016 – The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) recently engaged in an extensive dialogue with the Secretariat of Parliamentary Budget Committee following the endorsement and adoption of 2016/2017 fiscal budget earlier this month. TPSF in the past has actively engaged with various arms of the government and stakeholders to ensure the concerns of the private sector are taken on-board during planning, execution and monitoring phases of various activities. The national budget in particular is an area of great concern, since despite liberalization efforts which began in 1992, the government has remained a dominant player in driving the economy and its annual budget has been a particular instrument used to indicate and direct growth to specific parts of the economy.
On the side of private sector, apart from speculating the direction of resources during the budget process so as to complement efforts, the sector has been keen to read signs and indicators emanating from the budget making processes and its implication to private sector. Taxation, levies, regulations have been key areas of engagement between the private sector and the government, while Parliamentary Budget Committee has been an instrumental avenue for the private sector to share our experiences over fiscal measures institutionalized by the government. Members of the Parliamentary need to meet the private sector to learn how measures could impact the private sector for them to be to present a balanced view in the house.
The dialogue between The Private Sector & Secretariat of parliamentary budget committee was attended by 12 officials including Deputy Director of the Secretariat Mr Michael Kadebe, TPSF Executive Director Mr. Godfrey Simbeye, TPSF Director of Membership Services Mr. Louis Accaro and TPSF Director of Policy Mr. Gilead Teri. During the meeting TPSF was able to provide the committee with background information on the development of private sector over the last three decades, as well as respond to questions on emerging issues, challenges faced by its members, as well as perceptions on the business environment from the private sector perspective.
Key concerns voiced from the dialogue emanated from the Private Sector’s involvement in Taxation. During discussions it was mentioned that the private sector, is of the view that there is minimum consultation from the government when it comes to imposition of new tax measurements. Mr. Simbeye speaking at the meeting added “In addition to this, the private sector is also not well informed prior to the institutionalization of new taxes “. Stating that the sharing of information between the two intuitions was critical to the sharing of insights for the growth of the economy. Although there are structures such as the Task Force of Tax Reforms and the Think Tank Committee chaired by the Finance and Planning Minister, the major concerns from the private sector is the time allocated to start engagement and duration of the engagement.
Another area discussed in length was is the low motivation to implement the Public Private Partnerships Act and its regulation as a resource mobilization strategy. . “There has been little drive by the government to enhance the cooperation especially in form of PPP, the Government has been adamant to undertake most of its projects via loans and government revenues rather than PPP where the private sector can source the capital from internal or external sources. Going alone spirit of our Government may not always be the best option as it subjects the Government into heavy financial burdens” said Mr. Simbeye.
Key outcomes of the dialogue, included the mutual agreement between the parliamentary budget committee and the Private Sector that both institutions work together to improve engagements and communication on issues of taxation and levies which affect businesses and competitiveness of Tanzania’s products. Secondly, TPSF is tasked with advocating for a closer cooperation between the government and the private sector through PPP and the possible revitalization of the Tanzania Private Sector Development Policy which shall set the direction of the private sector. Thirdly, TPSF is trusted as a true representative of the interests of PSO’s and companies during engagement with Parliamentary Budget Committee on issues related to fiscal policy, and that there is no need for every PSO to appear before the Parliamentary Committees as TPSF will be the driving vehicle to table all issues to the Committee. Lastly, TPSF called for the need of establishing a Consultative Forum between Speaker of the National Assembly and Private Sector Representatives to be held twice a year.

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