PRESIDENT KIKWETE GIVING HIS SUPPORT TO BENJAMIN MENGI
“government will continue to improve the investment environment so as to have more local investors”
BUT IT WILL NOT APPLY THE RULE OF LAW TO THE SILVERDALE FARM CASE – AS HE PROMMISED THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HE WOULD DO!
JK: We need more investments to improve living conditions
By Felix Andrew
President Jakaya Kikwete has said the government will continue to improve the investment environment so as to have more local investors, particularly small and medium entrepreneurs invest in various sectors.
He said this yeaterday when addressing workers at the climax of May Day celebrations marked at national level in Morogoro municipality.
He said the government will continue to reduce bureaucracy, improve issuance of business permits and improve the economic infrastructure.
Kikwete said the government wants to see the increase in employment opportunities, particularly for youth, who complete education in institutions of higher learning and those in the streets.
The President requested the workers’ unions and employers’ associations to cooperate with the government to ensure that these goals are achieved.
According to President Kikwete, such cooperation would attract more investors, especially from abroad, to support the nation’s economic growth.
The President also ordered transfer of labour officers who have worked at one station for a long time to clear the air that such officers deny fellow workers to get their rights on time.
Kikwete also assured Tanzanians that no one will work as a ‘slave’ in this country, challenging higher learning institutions to establish programmes that would make graduates compete, especially in the newly set up East African Common Market.
He told employers to abide by labour laws and improve labour relations in order to increase productivity.
Turning on the side of employees, he advised them to fulfill their obligations, work hard, respect their jobs and demand their rights according to the laws.
“It is true that if the workers’ rights are not protected, this could bring chaos, but I thank you for realizing that this issue is not for government only,” he stressed.
President Kikwete directed the Labour and Employment and Youth minister Gaudentia Kabaka and Home Affairs minister Shamsi Nahodha, to make sure that government officers do not allow foreigners to do works which can be done by Tanzanians.
He said procedures for employment of foreigners are known, adding that once recruited against the stipulated laws the responsible officials should be answerable.
“I believe Nahodha is listening even if he is not here. It is a sin to leave Tanzanians without employment and recruiting foreigners without following required procedures and laws. Please (workers) do not hesitate to inform us,” he said.
Earlier, Acting General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA), Nicholas Mgaya, reiterated his call on the government to improve their welfare.
He said workers were still unhappy with the working environment, while many retired civil servants did not enjoy their retirement dues due.
“We still appeal to you President Kikwete to improve our welfare, pay us at least living wages and improve tax policies as workers are overburdened with high taxes, particularly Pay As You Earn (PAYE),” he said.
On PAYE, he said workers want the tax rate to fall to at least a single digit from the current double digits.
Workers, according to him, were not contented with the massive misappropriation of public funds and properties within government ministries, departments and agencies, he said.
“We are equally not satisfied with how the state responds to this kind of robbery within these organisations and we would therefore like to see quick measures taken on this trend,” he said.
He urged the government to cut unnecessary expenses in order to improve the workers salary. Citing, he said per diems, seminars, motor vehicle maintenance, purchasing of luxurious motor vehicles and motorcades should be trimmed off.
Mgaya also proposed reduction of tax exemption saying a total of 600bn/- could be saved and used other development activities.
He said most of the tax exemptions benefited investors in sectors of mining, industries, trade hence should it diverted to the agricultural activities.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN