‘Taxes, erratic power crippling businesses’

High power charges, the lack of skilled manpower and unfair tax policies and complex procedures are crippling businesses, the private sector has said.

High power charges, the lack of skilled manpower and unfair tax policies and complex procedures are crippling businesses, the private sector has said.

Alphonsine Niyigena, the acting chairperson of the Private Sector Federation, said unregistered business competitors and smugglers, too, were bogging down the sector.

“If the government does not intervene to address these challenges, many businesses’ growth will be stifled. This could mean job losses and low tax collections by the government,” she said.

Niyigena was speaking at a conference organised by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) at the Kigali Serena Hotel in Kigali. 

She said there was also a need to promote collaboration between the government and the private sector so as to improve the business environment and boost the economy. “We need a more organised private sector that can use new technologies to deliver services efficiently.”

Speaking at the function Prime Minister Dr. Damien Pierre Habumuremyi pledged government support to solve the challenges facing the sector.

“We are aware that the question of power is a big challenge to business... the problem is that we are currently producing 110 megawatts which are not enough for everyone. The government will do what it can to ensure that enough power is generated by 2020…this cannot just happen in the shortest time possible, but it’s one of our priorities,” he said.

He urged private sector to always channel their concerns through the various umbrella associations. The Premier, however, challenged the private sector to exploit the many untapped business opportunities this country offers.

“There are many business opportunities in the country. Therefore, do not look at what a few successful investors have done and try to copy them,” said Habumuremyi.

He also urged the sector, not only to work together with the government towards achieving the economic objectives of the country, but also to be ethical.

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