Diamond miner demands 57bn/- VAT refunds from govt

19Sep 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
Financial Times
Diamond miner demands 57bn/- VAT refunds from govt

PETRA Diamonds is owed about $25 million (close to 57 billion/-) in value added tax (VAT) refunds by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), its chief executive has said.

“We are not getting paid at the moment. The historical figure owed is $16 million,” Johan Dippenaar told Reuters in an interview, adding that current VAT is an additional $9 million.

Businesses in many sectors in Tanzania have been complaining of delays in payment of VAT refunds. The government said it needs time to verify the claims to avoid making fraudulent payments.

The South African headquartered Petra Diamonds owns 75 per cent of the shares in the Shinyanga-based Williamson Diamonds Limited.

The Tanzanian government said last year that it planned to nationalize diamonds whose value it put at $29.5 million belonging to Petra Diamonds after it accused the miner of under-declaring its mineral exports.

The diamonds were seized at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam in August 2017 as they were being exported by Williamson Diamonds Ltd to Antwerp, Belgium.

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