Dar keen to cut red tape

The government is determined to remove all bureaucratic and legal hurdles in a bid to reduce cost of doing business as well as creating friendly business climate.

At the 9th Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) meeting held in Dar es Salaam at the weekend President Jakaya Kikwete and senior government officials met members of the private sector to deliberate on ways of improving the business climate as businesses cry of operating in an unfriendly environment.

Chairing the 8th TNBC meeting last month, President Kikwete issued directives pertaining to local content, tourism and business environment and demanded respective agencies come with reports to the 9th meeting on how to enhance business environment for sustainable growth.

Presenting the progress reports, the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Frank Kanyusi, said that introduction of the electronic form is an important milestone that will ease doing business.

“Whether in public or private sector, Tanzanians want dependable and consistent services. Fast, efficient and reliable services are prerequisite for economic takeoff,” he said.

Thus, “Going digital in the registration of a company means that one doesn’t have to go through the hassles of physically coming to our offices. Registering, paying and getting certificate online,” he said.

During the meeting, President Kikwete launched the online registration platform; the prospect of doing business in a better environment that enables both private and limited companies to register their businesses.

Mr Kanyusi said that going digital will also mean removing bureaucracy and reducing the avenues of corruption. He said that the platform which is being hosted on the website was designed by local developers and that the agency used its own funds, adding that state organisations needed to stop depending on multinational organs to fund what they can do on their own.

TNBC Executive Committee Chairman and also the Chief Secretary, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, said that the registration of the companies online is just the beginning and that plans are afoot to add other services like registration of Taxpayer Identification Number.

The TNBC Executive Secretary, Mr Raymond Mbilinyi, said that on the aspect of local content, it was agreed that a unit would be formed by the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC).

Mr Mbilinyi also said that on the business environment issue, bureaucracy was identified as a huge stumbling block and agreed that all regulatory authorities with conflicting legislation would be harmonised.

“It has also been agreed that there will be more information available on business activities as well as ensuring that digitalisation is increased such that paper usage is reduced,” he cited.

On the aspect of tourism, Mr Mbilinyi said that it has been agreed for tourism to add more in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), there is need to have low fees during low season and high when it is high season.

He said that presently tourism contributes 18 per cent but there is belief that it can go up to 40 per cent, adding that tourism will soon be added to the Big Results Now initiative.

The Tanzania Business Community National Chairman, Mr Johnson Minja, said that he felt that the outcome of the meeting was a present to the business people from President Kikwete and was thankful.

The Tanzania private sector said at the event that it sees commitment in the government initiatives to improve the business environment in the country. Mr Minja said that he congratulated BRELA for the launch of the registration service online and was excited over the future.

He said that together with the good things that the government was doing, since there are many institutions, when it comes to payment, there was need of having one fund or account to ease movement.
Source: Daily News, reported by Sebastian Mrindoko, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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