Members of Parliament have advised the government to take urgent measures to revamp the country’s industrial sector, including coming to the rescue strategic enterprises in private hands that were once buoyant but are now collapsing.
Contributing to debate on the 2011/2012 Budget estimates of the Industry and Trade ministry in the national Assembly here yesterday, they said no nation in the world has ever grown into an economic giant without investing heavily in the industrial sector. The estimates were tabled on Tuesday.
According to some of the MPs, the government has not been serious enough in reviving previously state-run industries and other businesses that developed poor health and ultimately collapsed after being privatised in the mid-1980s.
They said Asian emerging economies such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan recorded appreciably high economic growth after investing massively in industries between the 1960’s and the 1990’s.
Records show Hong Kong and Singapore have become international financial centres to be reckoned with, while South Korea and Taiwan are world leaders in manufacturing and information and communications technology.
Ngara MP Deogratius Ntukamazina said the government had no option but to build a national industrial base as strong and firm as existed during the first phase government of Founding President Mwalimu JK Nyerere and early years of the second phase government of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.
The legislator, one of the longest serving ministerial permanent secretaries in Tanzania, said it was industries only that would make Tanzania to graduate into a genuinely vibrant economy. He asked the government to revive the likes of Tanga Steel Rolling Mills, Ubungo and Mbeya farm implements factories, dairies, cotton ginneries, textile mills and hides factories under the leather and skins category.
Deo Filikunjombe (Ludewa) meanwhile said the national agricultural initiative popularly known as ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ would only succeed if the government “takes serious steps to resuscitate the industrial sector”.
“Just as there is no country in the world that has developed without industries, Kilimo Kwanza cannot succeed in the absence of bouncy industries,” he noted.