Tanzania: JPM Warns Tax Cheats

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has warned the state-run Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to refrain from increasing tax estimates for traders, saying the move would help to curb corruption and tax evasion.

He said despite the fact that the government's operation depends on taxes from different sources, the collection should be done fairly.

"There are some dishonest TRA officials, in one way or the other, they are the reasons for traders to evade paying relevant government taxes. I want them to change their ways," said Dr Magufuli on Thursday shortly after he laid a foundation stone for the construction of the Kisutu Market.

The Head of State directed the Ministry of Finance and Planning to make proper supervision and ensure his directives are well implemented.

This move is aimed at ending grievances from businesspeople and enable the government obtain its revenue on time.

According to him, the government has been investing in building infrastructural projects that aim at easing social service delivery and increasing revenue collecting capacity.

"The government is constructing a total of 22 markets in the country at a cost of 119.9bn/- and 18 bus stands. Some of the markets are already in use and others are in various stages of construction," he said.

President Magufuli said the projects also played a part in changing the outlook of Dar es Salaam region.

The Kisutu Market is one of the strategic projects in Dar es Salaam that are designed to boost the economy and facilitate businesses in the city, according to Dr Magufuli.

The market is aimed at collecting 2.5bn/- revenue annually and creates around 2,000 employment opportunities for the youth.

The market is featured with 500 business lots, rent space for offices, banks as well as enough parking lots. Earlier, in his welcoming note to the President, Minister of State President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Mr Selemani Jafo commended the municipal councils in Dar es Salaam for leading in revenue collection, saying the move has made it possible for the Ilala to be promoted to a Dar es Salaam City Council status.

He said in the ongoing 2020/21 fiscal year, Ilala Municipal Council has so far managed to collect 35bn/-, equivalent to 58 per cent of its target.

Last year, the council managed to collect 100 per cent of the target, Ilala also led the list of top ten local government councils with higher collections followed by Kinondoni and Temeke.

"Temeke and Kinondoni are now undertaking some of the development projects by using their domestic funds, this is a good example to all other councils, and going forward, I'm sure others will follow the trend," he said.

For his part, Ilala Member of Parliament Mussa Azzan Zungu, apart from thanking the president for upgrading Ilala municipality to city council, asked for the construction of road infrastructure in some of the hard to reach areas in the city.

"Whenever it rains, some areas in Ukonga, Segerea and Ilala constituencies get flooded, therefore we are asking for the increase of construction and renovation budget for the said infrastructures in the area," he said.

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