Parliamentary Committee urges govt to address ETS challenges

18Jun 2019
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Parliamentary Committee urges govt to address ETS challenges

PARLIAMENTARY Standing Committee on Budget has urged the government to address some challenges experienced during pilot execution of the Electronic Tax Stamps (ETS) system on excisable goods.

The commit also commended the government for increased revenues collections during the implementation of the technology.

Simbachawene was presenting views of the parliamentary committee on Tanzania’s state economy for financial year 2018, the national development plan 2019/2020 as well as assessment of implementation of the 2018/2019 budget and financial plan for 2019/2020.

“Implementation of the Finance Act for the current financial year has been suitable much as there are some issues which are being addressed by the government,” Simbachawene told lawmakers in the august House here yesterday.

The MP as well applauded the government for making amendments on 17 legislations during the current financial year which have led to increased revenue collections, widened the tax base, proper administration of taxes and stimulating establishment of industries.

The Minister said though some cases however there are delays on implementation of amendments of the laws passed by the assembly and endorsed by the president,” he decried.

The government of Tanzania through TRA started the first phase of ETS system on wines, spirits and cigarettes in January, this year. The system was fully rolled out for all alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and bottled water on June 15, this year.

ETS is meant to replace the hitherto paper-based tax stamps initially attached to cigarettes, wines and spirits. The old system was prone to cheating of taxes through under declaration, among other malpractices.

A Swiss firm, Société Industrielle et Commerciale de ProduitsAlimentaires (SICPA) won the tender and subsequently signed a contract with TRA for supply, installation and provision of supporting software and hardware for ETS management system.

The ETS management system automatically stamps the products at the end of the production line and submits the count in real time through a system to TRA.

Available data indicates that since ETS was implemented during the first phase on tobacco and alcoholic drinks starting January, this year, collection for excise duty on locally produced spirits increased by 22.7 per cent.

TRA indicates in the data that excise duty from the spirits increased from 18.5bn/- between January and March 2018 compared to 22.7bn/- which was recorded between January and March, 2019.

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