4 May 2016

Tanzania: Beer Prices Soar Ahead of Budget Tabling

Photo: Darren Taylor/VOA
(file photo)

Boozers are now forced to dig deeper into their pockets to purchase a bottle of beer after local brewers hiked the price of the product ahead of the 2016/17 budget scheduled for tabling next month.

A survey by the 'Daily News' in various bars and pubs in Dar es Salaam has established that drinkers now pay between 2,500/- and 3,000/- for a locallymanufactured beer and an average of 3,500/- and 4,000/- for imported brands.

Before the price hike, local bars were selling a bottle of beer at a price of between 2,300/- and 2,500/- for local beer and 3,500/- for imported varieties.

Meaning, prices of beer in various retail outlets in the city have gone up by 200/- and 500/- per bottle, since last week. The survey further indicated that there was an increase of 5,000/- per crate at wholesale depots.

According to bar owners and managers, wholesale and retail distributors, local brewers had hiked prices of purchasing beers, forcing them to also increase the prices of the products to customers. The new prices come just a few days before Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango tables the main budget for 2016/17 fiscal year.

Last month, Dr Mpango unveiled the proposed 30 trillion/- 2016/17 national budget that focuses on reducing donor dependence and recurrent spending while increasing funding on development projects.

There is a clear indication that the government will continue imposing heavy taxes on normal products such as beer, wine, cigarettes and soft drinks as usual, in a bid to boost the 30tri/- 2017/2017 budget.

This means, boozers and smokers will have to dig deeper into the pockets to contribute to the state coffers once again. In the 2015/2016 fiscal year, the government hiked taxes on beer, wines and spirits following the proposed amendments on the Excise Management and Tariff Act.

The Act, among other things, proposed amendments to specific rates on Non- Petroleum Products such as soft drinks, beer, wine and whisky by 10 per cent. In an interview yesterday, Ms Zuena Idd, who works at a popular bar located near the Ubungo Bus Terminal, said beginning last week, the price of beer increased from 2,300/- to 2,500/-.

"Many of our customers who used to drink beers are now opting for 'Konyagi' as a costcutting measure following the price hike," she said. Paul Andrew, the owner of beer, wines and soft drinks retail shop at Mabibo in the city said: "Initially we were buying a crate of beer at 37,500/-, but now we are purchasing the same at 41,500/-."

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