29 June 2014

Tanzania: State to Check Red Tape At Customs Posts Countrywide

Dodoma — THE Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda.

THE Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, has ordered the Ministry of Transport to monitor closely public institutions, to curb unnecessary bureaucracy at customs posts.

Moving a motion to adjourn the National Assembly until November, this year, Mr Pinda said such a situation has hindered government from getting the desired revenues.

He noted that when he met business people in February this year, he was told that among the things that give them hard time is the increased bureaucracy at customs posts at the Dar es Salaam Port and other border posts.

"The move to have our agencies in the custom posts was aimed at ensuring that there is good supervision and verification of goods being imported, but it seems some officials have turned it into a money making opportunity," he said.

The instituions in question include Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA), the Immigration and police.

Mr Pinda noted that some officials from the said bodies have been bureaucratic unnecessarily as a way of forcing businessmen to give bribe.

He noted that there are about 527 companies that work with the clearing and forwarding agencies, and the huge number of them have also contributed to the same problem. "

I want all the responsible authorities to make closer follow ups on the manner in which clearing and forwarding companies operate and take necessary measures," he said.

Mr Pinda thanked the Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe for working hard to ease work at the Dar es Salaam port.

The Prime minister also warned tax exemption beneficiaries over misuse of the exempted goods. He said the government was making a closer follow up on the information that some of the goods imported in the country were put for sale.

"All the exempted goods should be used for the intended activities and we will take stern measures against any beneficiary who will misuse the exempted goods," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Pinda has said that the government will for the first time start purchasing rice through National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA).

The government will purchase 10,000 tonnes of paddy this season which will act as a trial and if it is successfully preserved, the amount will be increased in the future he said.

He called on the farmers to increase production of paddy now that they will be sure of the market, adding that the government will continue to strengthen rice storage facilities.

He ordered responsible authorities to make sure that those businessmen with special authorization to import rice, sugar and wheat are using the permits in a given period of time.

According to Mr Pinda, some unscrupulous business people have extended the time beyond permission, and as a result, farmers lack reliable market for their produce.

In another development, Mr Pinda has pointed out the government's intention to revive cashew processing factories in Lindi and Mtwara regions, in a move aimed at supporting farmers to sale processed cashews.

He noted that earlier evaluation conducted by an Italian company dubbed-Oltremare in collaboration with a local company dubbed-Agrofocus came up with two major ways to revive four industries and their costs.

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