THE Minister for Minerals, Dotto Biteko has lashed out at mineral scammers, who defraud foreigners and sell them fake minerals that they are tarnishing the image of the country, a crime the government will not tolerate.
The minister who was visiting a mining market at the NHC Building in Dar es Salaam to inspect the centre after listening to grievances of the mineral traders, said it is also a crime for any trader to keep any mineral at home, because that denies the government just revenue.
"Our goal is to control smuggling of minerals and that's why we have come to warn them to refrain from buying outside the marketing system, because the consequences are serious. "We must follow the law because the royalties and taxes for mining activities in Tanzania are not big to force you (mineral dealers) to hide minerals in your houses," he pointed out.
However, he said in controlling the mining sector chain, the government through the ministry as well as the ministry of Industry and Trade are preparing a bill that will enable all jewelers in the country to legalise their activities.
"The biggest problem for jewelers is anonymity and operating in a kind of informal business, because there are so many and that's why it is difficult to identify them. We want to put more pressure on regulating many systems in the mining industry and create a friendly environment... because our goal is value addition. I strongly urge the jewelers to be patient in this," added the minister.
On his part, Tanzania Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TAMIDA) Vice-Chairman, Osman Tharia, urged the ministry to reconsider the price of rented rooms in the National Housing Corporation in line with electricity prices, because they demoralise growth of the business in the country.
"He said more than 57 traders in the stalls have to pay for electricity based on the size of a kiosk and that is expensive," he said.
Commenting, the Deputy Minister in the ministry of Minerals, Prof Shukuru Manya urged the traders to adhere to the law, because the government does not undermine any trade, but tries to enable them to grow and become sustainable in business.