17 July 2014

Tanzania: Industries Lobby Cries Foul On New Excise Duty On Beer

CONSUMERS of beer should brace for further hike in prices following the government's move to increase excise duty by 20 per cent, well above the earlier tariff of 10 per cent announced by the Minister for Finance, Ms Saada Mkuya Salum.

Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Council Member, Mr Stephen Kilindo, told a news conference in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that the government has revised excise duty on beer.

"We are surprised with the decision by the government to hike excise duty by 100 per cent and this change comes within a month after the budget was passed and enacted by the Finance Act of 2014," he said.

Mr Kilindo expressed deep concern over what he described as inconsistency of government's economic and fiscal policies as well as legislations, saying the practice frustrates investors who have budgets and other corporate expansion plans.

He said local producers of beer, wines, spirits and cigarettes adjusted prices on July 1, on the basis of earlier tariffs, but the changes have brought about confusion.

"Regular changes and unpredictable economic policies of taxes affect sales volume, earnings and profit. This has bad implications on consumption, government revenue and even employment," Mr Kilindo, who is Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) Director of Corporate Affairs said.

Meanwhile, CTI yesterday witnessed the change of guard following the appointment of Mr Leodegar Tenga as Executive Director, taking over from Ms Christine Kilindu.

Ms Kilindu has been at the helm of the industrial lobby for 22 years and told a news conference that she was happy to have steered the institution from scratch.

"When I came in there was virtually nothing. I had only one employee, who worked as a clerk, messenger and cleaner. The only document in my office was CTI constitution.

"We now have a serious institution respected by industrialists, the government and other stakeholders," Ms Kilindu said. Mr Tenga said he was taking over from where Ms Kilindu left and expressed optimism to steer the institution to a higher level in its operations.

He admitted that he was more popular in the football arena in the country and beyond, as player and later president of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and CECAFA.

However, he said, that he had been in industries for more than 20 years after university. Mr Tenga holds degrees in engineering and business administration.

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