Minister for Industry and Trade, Cyril Chami has challenged Tanzania Trade Development Agency (Tantrade) to come up with policies, which will enhance voluntary tax payment among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Speaking at the inauguration of a new trade board in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Chami said less than 500,000 out of the registered 2.7 million SMEs paid tax, which was a setback to the government’s revenue collection initiatives.
“I believe if good policies are implemented, revenue collection in the country will supersede that collected at entry points,” he said.
He noted that tax evasion by unscrupulous businesspeople cost the country millions of shillings that would have been used to fund development projects.
“There is a need for businesspeople to see the importance of paying tax voluntarily. The board should ensure this is achieved,” he said.
He called on the new Tantrade board to invest in research that would ensure quality products were produced and sold to the international market.
“Such efforts should go in line with product development in terms of value addition and market research for locally produced goods. Our network of ambassadors will be of help in helping us secure markets.
“Focus should be on the quality of the goods we export, not the quantity,” he cautioned.
New board chairperson Sabetha Mwambenja gave an assurance that her board would find a solution to emerging challenges.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Joyce Mapunjo, noted that her ministry would do the needy to link Tantrade with other institutions like Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Small Industries Development Organisation (Sido) and the Weights and Measures Agency (WMA).