9 September 2017

Tanzania: Find Solution for Trade Barriers, Govt Asked

Dar es Salaam — The Confederations of Tanzania Industries (CTI) and Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) have once again called on the government to address barriers that are hindering business operation and investments.

The hindrances, according to them, include taxation policy and tax administration, multi-regulatory bodies and policy unpredictability.

The call was made yesterday during a breakfast meeting between the CTI and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

CTI executive director Leodeger Tenga urged the government to streamline procedures to facilitate business operations using quick and transparent methods, notably in approving business procedures after learning that there were many steps involved.

"It is important that the authorities at all levels to take prompt action to review and streamline procedures in a move to facilitate business operation and investment," said Mr Tenga.

The move, he said, would attract more investors in the sector.

CTI chairman Samuel Nyantahe called for reduction tax.

Currently, according to him, there are too many taxes, levies and fees imposed to businesses.

It is then difficult for investors to comply.

"These challenges we are facing should be seriously addressed, or, it might be not easy to move forward in the face of industrilisation," noted Dr Nyantahe.

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) executive director Godfrey Simbeye attributed poor business climate to lack of coordination, follow-up and appropriate evaluation. Mr Simbeye challenged the government to provide all necessary incentives to investors in order to boost business climate and improve its World Bank's Doing Business ranking.

Giving his opening remarks during the meeting, Industry, Trade and Permanent Secretary (industry docket) Adelhelm Meru, who was the chief guest, underlined the government's willingness to first simplify administrative procedures for investors.

"On behalf of the government, I take all these issues as the responsibility of the government," pledged Dr Meru.

Adding: "The government and the local authorities will address these issues right away to enable businesses to enjoy better operations and development."

He however challenged industrial players to supplement the government's industrialisation drive by addressing the challenge of inadequate market for locally produced goods.

The move, he was of the view, would be enhanced by increasing promotion both within and outside the country.

"We understand that you are encountered with a number of challenges including those related to taxes, of which the government is already working on it," noted Dr Meru.

"You are playing a commendable role in line with producing quality products that can compete in global market, now it is high time you widened market for your goods."

TRA commissioner for domestic revenue Elijah Mwandumbya said some problems related to taxation issues would have to wait until the next financial year.

He was responding to concern voiced by the Keko Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, quality assurance manager, Ms Ellen Magita, over why they were paying Value Added Tax (Vat) on locally purchased raw materials.

They are exempted from paying Vat on the same raw materials when they imported them, according to her.

"For Vat on locally pharmaceutical raw materials to be removed, the bill might be tabled to the parliament so that the law can be amended... we are taking it as a challenge and will work on it," noted Mr Mwandumbya.

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