17 January 2014

Tanzania: Annual Trade Licences Opposed

MEMBERS of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA) are up in arms, disputing the government resolve to re-introduce the annual business licence fee that the same government abolished some eight years back.

Over 21,000 business organizations and other individual businessmen have lodged their claims through TCCIA in opposing the arrangement and questioning the rationale of the government's action.

TCCIA President Peter Chisawillo told reporters that the re-introduction of the annual business licence fee will be stubborn to the business community and will create many corruption avenues.

"This system is against the Licence Act of 1972 and its 2004 amendments which directed that the licence fees be charged only once in a business lifetime.

Paying for the business fee every year is a cumbersome procedure that creates an unfriendly business environment," he said.

Apart from other 'toxic' elements in the system, Eng Chisawillo said the government pushed for its implementation without prior sensitization and directives on how the business community will implement it without causing unnecessary inconveniences.

If the system if finally imposed, it might cause a lot of costs of doing business hence affecting final consumers apart from concerned businesses, he charged.

Therefore, according to him, TCCIA has chosen seeking its members to give their views on the system particularly challenges they are likely to face or are already facing as a result of the directive which came into force from July last year.

According to him, the collection of the views will be conducted for four weeks from today using a number of methods including the mobile phones or the SMS mobile system.

"We wrote to the Prime Minister in October last year requesting for clarification on the matter but nothing has been communicated to us so far," he said.

Last year the government presented miscellaneous amendment in the Finance Act which was passed with proposals for resumption of the annual business fee payment system now received with mixed reactions from the business community.

Meanwhile, delegation from the Oman Business Council is arriving today for three day tour in the country under the invitation of TCCIA. Apart from other activities in the timetable, the joint Business Chamber between Tanzania and Oman will be officially established where a number of issues will be discussed and addressed.

The Chairman of Tanzania Oman Joint Business Council (TOJBC) Mr Evalist Maembe, said a number of issues will be discussed during the visit including insurance of transit goods, quality and standards of the goods, banking services and transportation of the goods.

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