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MP accuses mining firms of paying less tax

1st July 2011
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Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja (L) and his deputy, Adam Malima (R), with Kigoma North legislator Zitto Kabwe in the National Assembly in Dodoma yesterday.

Kigoma-North legislator Kabwe Zitto smelt a rat in Parliament yesterday on annual tax submissions made to the government by large-scale mining companies in the country.

Contributing to the budget speech of the Prime Minister’s Office, he said a report he had received recently showed that there were serious discrepancies in the submissions made by the firms in the 2008/09 financial year exposed by Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which audited them.

Zitto said there was a pressing need to audit the submissions made between 2000 and 2008 after EITI noted that the amount of money submitted in the fiscal year 20008/09 fell short of 20bn/-.

EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organisations, which aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability.

Meanwhile, Zitto called upon the government to scrap tax exemptions on fuel to companies exploring for gas and oil in the country.

He also advised the government to direct increased levy on Kerosine to Rural Electrification Agency (REA) with a view to boost efforts geared to supply rural areas with power.

In the meantime, when contributing to the same budget estimates Prof David Mwakyusa (Rungwe West-CCM) called upon the government to form a probe commission to investigate into the root cause of boycotts in higher learning institutions.

“During the second term of the third phase government, the health sector experienced boycotts that prompted the government to expel some doctors, but when the fourth phase government assumed power in January 2006 it formed a commission to probe the matter,” he said.

James Lembeli (Kahama-CCM) said students would continue complaining if the government delayed their allowances. “It will bring no sense if we continue blaming the students for staging demonstrations because almost everywhere in the world people are now demonstrating. The issue at hand now is to find a solution to the problem,” Lembeli said.

Ubungo legislator John Mnyika told the House that he had received reports claiming that the University of Dodoma (Udom) administration had begun reinstating students on the basis of political ideology.

However, Education and Vocational Training minister Dr Shukuru Kawambwa refuted the claims. “I don’t believe if that matter is handled that way,” he said.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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