TAMIDA, TAHA urge ATCL freight at gemstones, horticulture terminals

02Jul 2019
The Guardian Reporter
ARUSHA
The Guardian
TAMIDA, TAHA urge ATCL freight at gemstones, horticulture terminals

MINERAL dealers are appealing to the government to increase the number of aircrafts and international flights for Air Tanzania to ensure that tanzanite exports do not depend on facilities in neighbouring countries.

The President of Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association, Sammy Mollel, stated here that while TAMIDA lauds the government’s recent move to scrap nuisance taxes in the mining industry, miners and gemstone dealers appeal to the state to reinforce the national carrier so that transportation of minerals outside is assured of direct flights from the trading centre.

“The government was of great service to us when the National Assembly, working on presidential directives, abolished the 18 percent Value Added Taxes (VAT) as well as the five percent withdrawal taxes,” Mollel declared.

However, there are some culprits who still smuggle gemstones out of the country, like the recent case of a consignment of various gemstones impounded at Namanga, intended to be shipped across the border, illegally.

“All the bureaucracy which used to cripple the minerals industry has been removed. The taxes are now down to zero, acquiring exports permits takes less than ten minutes. Why should anybody want to smuggle gemstones out of the country?” wondered Mollel.

Last week a consignment of mixed gemstones worth over 950 million/- was impounded aboard a bus belonging to ‘Perfect Transport,’ which was traveling from Arusha to Nairobi.

However, in order to ensure that there is no excuse left for such rackets, TAMIDA through its president wants the state carrier, Air Tanzania to add cargo freight services in order to ensure that shipment of sensitive goods like gemstones is handled right in the country.

“We have been relying on the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi as portal to transport our consignments of minerals due to its readily available daily flights to overseas destinations,” the TAMIDA leader noted.

He was of the view that Tanzania currently has the best airport facilities and all what is needed is an array of local aircrafts with international flight schedules, to ensure that inland terminals serve as business portals for export trade.

views are shared by the Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) Executive Director Jacqueline Mkindi , who has been appealing to the government to ensure that cargo freights are made available so that fresh flowers, vegetable and fruits as perishable produce are exported right from domestic terminals and at much lower costs.

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