WHILE the Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (Tamida) appreciates reforms in the mining sector, it has aired some frustrations on tax issues and has asked the Ministry of Finance and Planning to address them.
Tamida Chairperson Sammy Mollel said top mineral traders faced a lot of challenges in their operations, citing the most frustrating one being tax on imported equipment to add value to minerals, thus asking the government to remove it.
Mr Mollel noted that they would submit their proposals to Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, on how to improve the sector and their situation so that they and the government could be in a win-win situation.
He said to heed the government's industrial drive, businesspersons were willing to add value to minerals and to achieve this they had to import sufficient equipment, but the 25-per cent tax imposed on that was a stumbling block to them.
The chairman noted that although the minister had said the government would have removed the tax last year, nothing had been done and there were many challenges at ports as some containers were still held and business was not going on well.
He asked Dr Mpango to make a follow-up and issue directives so that those containers could be released.
He mentioned the oneper cent tax charged by Tanzania Shipping Agencies Act, 2017 which came into force on February 23, 2018 with significant changes that affected the mining sector as provided for in Section 7.
The law gives the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) an exclusive mandate in relation to clearing and forwarding functions relating to import and export of minerals, mineral concentrates, machineries and equipment, among other things.
He said mineral traders were not refusing to pay tax, but there was a lot of bureaucracy in the payment system and asked that the tax be levied within marketing hubs that had been introduced.
He said there was no logic to pay tax at the mineral centres and still traders had to travel all the way to Dar es Salaam for some days to pay tax.
"We ask Dr Mpango to intervene in this issue because it is causing a lot of frustrations among businesspersons when it comes to exporting minerals and it puts them off," said Mr Mollel.