Govt mulls single basket revenue collection move

By Guardian Correspondent , The Guardian
Published at 10:23 AM May 15 2024
Dr Ashatu Kijaji, Industry and Trade minister
Photo: Guardian Correspondent
Dr Ashatu Kijaji, Industry and Trade minister

THE government is preparing a single system for the collection of taxes and various charges for businesses in order to eliminate the nuisance of different public institutions to collect taxes.

Dr Ashatu Kijaji, Industry and Trade minister unveiled this here on Wednesday when speaking at the meeting between the public and private sector, which was aimed at discussing best ways to resolve various challenges facing business community in the country.

Dr. Kijaji said that the nuisance has been complained by businessmen and various stakeholders for years that has been killing business and driving away entrepreneurs in the country.

"We’ve already heard this outcry and the government is continuing with discussions to establish a single system to collect income, it will be collected in one basket and then each institution will get its share and thus reduce the inconvenience," she said.

The minister also said that the Tanzanian and US governments have established a chamber of commerce in the United States with the aim of facilitating business cooperation and reducing the chain of transportation of various products.

She urged Tanzanians to be honest in business to avoid damaging international markets claiming that the opportunity of the American market is important to be protected along with other international markets.

According to Kijaji, the government is continuing negotiations with the Turkish Airlines to start the export of avocados produced in the country to Turkey where there is a large market.

Dr. Hashil Abdallah, permanent secretary in the ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the ministry has been cooperating with various agencies to conduct operations to arrest counterfeit goods imported into the country to protect local industries and the health of the people.

He said that they recently conducted inspections in various regions of the country and arrested some businessmen selling fake mobile phones and therefore took legal measures including confiscation of the products and arresting the perpetrators.

He instructed the institutions responsible for product quality management in the country to continue to take action against those who violate it in order to promote local industries and protect the safety of citizens.

"We cannot let people import fake products into the country, these products are dangerous to our economy and to the lives of the people, so let me assure you that we will continue to take action because the safety of Tanzanians is in our hands," said Abdallah.

Erick Sichinga, Mbeya Regional chairman of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) said the influx of taxes has been causing misunderstandings between businessmen and government institutions.

He said that some institutions that collect taxes and fees have been working without involving people from the private sector so that they can express their opinions, a situation that continues to cause conflicts.

He said one of the institutions that have been hindering businessmen and industrial owners is the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA) that have been charging them large fees.

Victoria Michael, representative of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), said some Councils and regions in the country have been introducing various charges that conflict with the national plan to improve the business environment.

She said the aim of the program is to solve the commercial problems faced by traders, but when new awards are introduced in the council, it creates new problems contrary to the aim.

Victoria, who is a policy analyst, said the private sector currently contributes 50 percent and the public sector contributes 50 percent to the discussion to improve the business environment.

Elijah Simbeye, TCCIA chief executive officer in Songwe Region, advised the government to solve tax problems, including removing the influx of taxes by putting them in one basket to remove the inconvenience to traders.