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Support local contractors, govt urged

 

Dr Henry Daffa Shekifu (Lushoto - CCM) said it is a matter of policy that foreign firms should work with local counter-parts."There should be a condition that they form a joint venture or sub-contract part of the work in the project to local firms," Dr Shekifu, who is the deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Infrastructure Development Committee told the 'Daily News' over the weekend. 

The MP was commenting on complaints that some foreign companies, especially Chinese contractors were not engaging local firms in projects and go it alone.The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Executive Director, Mr Geofrey Simbeye, said the government should support local contractors by giving them loans and slow down in registering foreigners.    

"Local contractors face many challenges including lack of equipment and feeble financial status," he said.Mr Juma Nkamia (Kondoa South - CCM) said in all contracts there should be a condition requiring foreign firms to work with local counter-parts as is the case in many countries.

"This is obvious and a matter of policy," said Mr Nkamia."The main contractors can leave electrical, air conditioning and glazing to local sub-contractors," he explained.  Earlier this year, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Investment and Empowerment), Dr Mary Nagu, decried the trend where Tanzanian contractors are locked out of the prime contracts.
 
She said that many were locked out for financial and other technical reasons such as lack of experience and skills.The construction industry is vital to the economy accounting for five per cent of the GDP and 9.0 per cent of employment.Experts say the industry creates the much-needed multiplier effects resulting from employment the industry creates.
 
Meanwhile, the National Assembly session resumes on Monday after the weekend break, where the Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, is scheduled to present the 2012/2013 budget estimates for his office and other institutions under it.The session was adjourned on Friday night after the House overwhelmingly endorsed the government's 2012/2013 budget estimates after a week of fierce debating that witnessed hard talk, blame and trading of swipe.
 
Announcing the results after a roll-call voting, the Clerk to the National Assembly, Dr Thomas Kashilila, said 297 out of 351 legislators had voted.Dr Kashilila said 225 out of the votes cast endorsed the budget, while 72 MPs, mainly from the opposition rejected it.
 
Winding up the debate, the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr William Mgimwa, said the government has agreed to abolish VAT to textile mills, increase tax on imported edible oil and review skills development levy.The minister said the changes will be reflected in the Finance Bill to be moved in the House at the end of the budget session.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter in Dodoma

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