Mpendae Member of Parliament Salim Turky (CCM) has asked the government to remove tax imposed on imported rice, as a strategy to lower retail prices of the food crop in local markets.
Contributing to this year’s budget estimates tabled in Parliament last week by the Minister of Finance William Mgimwa, he said the tax had significantly contributed to an increase in retail prices which currently sales at 2,500/- per kilogram.
If the government intend to bring relief to ordinary people it has to remove tax imposed on imported rice whose price at the moment is too high, he said.
Turky said it was difficult for retail prices of rice to go down unless the tax is waived, which in turn would compel businesspeople to reduce theirs.
However, he commended the government for its decision of halting tax imposed on imported sugar.
He said since applied, it has helped to maintain the retail price of sugar sold in many parts of the country for a long time. According to him, such move should be directed to more industries those producing cement and soap making.
Josephine Genzabuke, special seats lawmaker (CCM) urged the government to increase more allocations in infrastructure, particularly railway.
She said railway played a crucial role in transportation of heavy goods instead of the tarmac road, which do not have long life span. The life span of a railway is 60 years compared to a tarmac road, which normally lasts around 25 years.
The MP said in recent years, many people prefer to transport goods through roads due to the challenges facing the railway systems.
She added that the railway transport if fully used, it could help to reduce costs incurred in the construction of new roads and part of the saved money could be spend on other development activities.
Genzabuke also urged the government to improve country’s railway systems whose services have been deteriorating in recent years.
On roads, she said last year the government set aside 2bn/- for the construction of the Kigoma-Nyakanazi road, which links the region with other regions. Nothing has been done with the money, we need to see roads are rehabilitated for smooth movement of inputs and crops to other areas, she said.
Rita Mlaki, special seats legislator (CCM) said more efforts are needed to save the ailing shilling through improvement of industries to increase the volume of exports.
The government should revive the privatised industries, particularly those dealing with processing of cashew nuts, coffee and cotton.She also said there was a need to empower various local experts on the issuance of loans.
Mlaki proposed removal of value added tax imposed on local industries in order to make them compete with imported products.