20 June 2012

Tanzania: Government Expresses Commitment to Formalize Film, Music Industry

THE government has maintained its commitment to formalize film and music industry, in which, it has already moved to introduce excise duty on products.

Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Fenella Mukangara said yesterday that the measure aims to prevent and fight against rampant piracy on both music and film products in the country.

She said introduction of excise duty on music and film products, chiefly DVD, VCD, video tape and audio tape, is aimed at assisting operators in this sub-sector to formalize their business, prevent piracy of the artistic works and enable (artists) to benefit from their works.

"As you all know, there has been a widespread piracy of music and film products, which has badly impacted on artists' earnings. The government is committed to come up with best means possible to mitigate or curb the problem all together," she said.

Addressing a news conference in Dar es Salaam, Mukangara said measures to curb the problem started long ago through a series of meetings that involved stakeholders in the industry, among which included artists, Members of Parliament and ministry.

She underlined what was said in the National Assembly last Thursday by Minister for Finance, William Mgimwa that the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), will issue stamps with relevant security features for the music and film products in order to control production and earn revenue to both the government and operators.

She said that this measure will become operational from January 1, 2013 to allow time for the review of the relevant laws and regulations. The minister said that artists will gain by that move, as each item of a particular product shall only be sold with a TRA stamp, an assurance of royalty, saying further that special bar codes will also be fitted for easy tracing.

According to Mukangara, through the new system, the artists will be able to secure loans and acquire capital that would enable them produce quality works that would compete effectively at international market.

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