Minister astonished by bag levying for mineral quarry

26May 2020
Correspondent
Tabora
The Guardian
Minister astonished by bag levying for mineral quarry

​​​​​​​OFFICIALS collecting levies from artisanal miners contrary to regulations stipulated in mining sector laws will be arrested and prosecuted, the government has warned.

Minister Doto Biteko.

Energy minister Doto Biteko made this declaration yesterday when addressing small scale miners at Isanga village in Nzega District, Tabora Region.

Punitive measures will serve as a lesson to other dishonest officials, as it was to flout the country’s laws to charge artisanal miners 1,000/- per bag of mineral quarry, he stated.

Mineral quarry extracted from an open-pit mine can’t be charged per bad, he said, vowing that the government will not tolerate such acts as the miners are struggling to make ends,” he vowed.

To reduce complains, licensed miners need to ensure that all levies and taxes paid to the government are stamped by mining offers in respective areas, he directed.

The government will support artisanal miners as it has been creating a favourable environment to ensure they benefit from their efforts, he said.

Earlier, artisanal miners complained that officials at the area have been charging them 1,000/- per bag of the mineral quarry. They expressed fears that the monies end up in individuals’ pockets as the charge is not applied to licensed miners.

In 2017, the government enacted new mining laws and regulations which ushered in sweeping changes to the country's mining sector.

The legislature endorsed two key bills, the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) and the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Re-negotiation of Unconscionable Terms).

In a meeting with artisanal miners in January last year, President John Magufuli directed ministers responsible for mining and finance, the Commissioner for Mining, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and geologists to sit and restructure the relevant taxes in order to provide relief on miners.

Multiple taxes were the main reason for small and medium miners in the country to engage in illegal business and tax evasion, plus selling the minerals across borders illegally.

He said miners are subjected to six taxes, listing them as  six per cent royalty, municipal levy of 0.3 percent, withholding tax of five percent, inspection and clearance fee one percent and 18 percent VAT.

The president said there was no need of having so many taxes in one sector. Top officials must examine possible ways of amending the tax schedule to relieve the miners, he affirmed.

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