But as 2019 begins, timber traders in Dar es Salaam have decried introduction of a new levy imposed on transportation of the commodity from the southern highland regions of Iringa and Njombe to the commercial capital.
Secretary of Timber Wholesalers at Buguruni market, Iddy Mrisho said a new levy has come up as a result of a new method for calculating transportation per piece of the timber. “Prior to last November, the levy charged was 150/- per one piece of timber but things have since changed because now it’s calculated from the whole cargo weight. We are now charged five per cent of the total purchasing cost of the commodity,” Mrisho said.
He said because of the new formula, 1,500 pieces of timber valued at 12m/- and which he used to pay 225,000/-as levy, is now worth 600,000/- based on the five percent calculation, thus an increment of 375,000/-. “This is too much a burden to impose on timber which will be borne by consumers,” Mrisho lamented.
He requested the government to reconsider the new levy bearing in mind that traders also pay levies at village and district government levels at the origin point of the logs harvest.
The Buguruni Timber Traders Secretary further noted that in addition to the levy imposed on timber as a commodity, Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) has also introduced tough penalties for truck drivers who overload their vehicles.
“With effect from January 1, 2019, super single tire trucks are prohibited from loading the normal 33 tons of timber as it was before but instead they need to carry maximum weight of 28 tones while double tire trucks can carry 33 tons.
“It’s just going to make things worse not only to us as traders but also consumers who buy timber for construction or timber products such as furniture for their homes,” he noted. Most of the trucks being used by the timber traders are fitted with super single tires.