Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Parliamentary Committee Orders CAG to Audit Doubtful Exemptions

RUNAWAY exemptions which denied the country close to 2trn/- during 2011/12 fiscal year will now be audited by Controller and Auditor General (CAG) for authentication.

Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, Zitto Kabwe told the House while presenting a report for the year ended June 2012 that the CAG would establish if the exemptions were not abused.

"Tax exemptions for the year ended 2011/12 increased by 789,883,259,827/- or an equivalent of 78 per cent from 1,016,320,300,000/- which were granted in 2010/11 to 1,806,203,559,827/- during 2011/12," Zitto Kabwe said.

He said exemptions given by the government this fiscal year were an equivalent of 13 per cent of the 2011/12 budget of over 13.5trn/-

"Had these exemptions not been granted which is an equivalent of 27 per cent of all revenue collected, gross revenue collected during the year would have been over 8.5trn/- instead of 6.7trn/- which was the actual collection," Kabwe noted.

Kabwe further noted that despite repeated objection by Parliament, the executive has continued to grant exemption to private businesses and charitable organisations which peaked 4.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

"The committee has agreed with CAG that effective 2012/13 season, there will be auditing of the exemptions annually to establish if they are properly granted," the Kigoma North legislator pointed out as lawmakers took turns to raid the executive for poor revenue collection and pilferage.

Kigoma South legislator (NCCR Mageuzi), David Kafulila and his Mwibara peer (CCM) Kangi Lugola, said it is now time for advising the government against non-performing ministers who have failed to deliver and preside over loss of billions of taxpayers' money.

Mr Kafulila said it was absurd that during such an important parliamentary session when key committees are presenting their reports, only four cabinet ministers and two deputies were in the debating chamber.

"Tanzania is a leading tax exemptions nation in East Africa and also taxes heavily its workers, why over tax workers while exempting businesses billions of shillings annually?"

Kafulila inquired while commending Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary General, Abdulrahman Kinana for public conceding that some cabinet ministers are a burden to the government. A tough talking Mr Lugola who threw fists in the air as he emotionally debated the report said, time for advising the executive is over.

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