The move follows a recent stakeholders’ meeting with miners where the president said the high taxes imposed on mining sector were a cause for them to evade taxes, directing the ministry to quickly open up markets to reduce chances of tax evasion.
The ministry is said to be seeking ensure that it addresses the challenge of illegal exportation of minerals out of the country.
During a recent stakeholders meeting with miners, the president ordered the establishment of mining markets in all regions that aim to increase revenues and the production and sale of minerals.
Tanzania has over six million small scale miners and 600, 000 brokers, but their contribution to the economy was not being felt as most of them were not paying taxes as they were selling minerals using illegal routes.
At a conference aimed at establishing mining markets yesterday in Dodoma that was attended by regional commissioners, cabinet ministers and their deputies, permanent secretaries, experts from the Tanzania Mining Commission and staff from the Ministry of Mining, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa ordered the quick execution of the president’s directive.
“All regional authorities need to carry out the directives immediately,” the premier sounded out.
He said the introduction of a minerals markets draft had already been developed and so it was crucial for authorities in respective districts to understand it.
The respective authorities at the meeting will be responsible for the implementation of the directive to achieve the government’s goal of increased revenue from the sector, the premier underlined.
He also pointed out the need for markets regulations to be completed soon to pave the way for the public to access the markets and ensure the government obtains proper revenues from those transactions.
He urged regional authorities to fully monitor security in the markets to ensure that the traders, miners and the people are safe in selling their produce.
“The president has emphasized that the mining sector must contribute adequately to GDP and thus bring economic and social development to the country,” he reminded the gathering.
The sector has been experiencing problems including illegal exportation of minerals and conflicts especially relating to land holding for small scale miners, he pointed out.
On his part, the Minister for Minerals, Doto Biteko said the conference aims to end the long outstanding challenges facing the sector.
“Regional authorities need to make sure they pay attention to the sector, so that it contributes heavily to the country’s economic growth,” he declared.
He said to address the challenges facing minerals markets, the ministry has already formed a committee consisting of representatives from various government institutions including the President’s Office, the Attorney General's Office, the Ministry of Minerals, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Trade and Industry along with the Bank of Tanzania to work on solving those problems.
He said the committee was tasked to draft regulations for the establishment and management of mining markets, which will be dubbed ‘The Mining (Minerals and Gem Houses) Regulations, 2019,"
Currently, minerals traders have no specific place to sell their produce, which results in illegal mineral exports as well as occasioning loss of government revenues.
The Federation of Miners Associations of Tanzania (Femata) said at a recent meeting that among the issues that bring about negative contribution of the sectors to the national economy was numerous taxes charged by the authorities.
They listed these taxes as including 18 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed on minerals of over Sh100 million annual turnover, a royalty of six per cent, five per cent withholding tax, inspection and clearance fee of one per cent and service levy (0.3) which are all a burden on small scale miners, about which the president has directed a quick review.
Tanzania is blessed with a variety of minerals, which include minerals for construction needs like gypsum, bauxite and tin.
Other minerals, which contribute significantly to the economy of the country, are gold, diamonds and tanzanite, which is a rare gemstone found only in Tanzania.