Tanzania to tighten noose on ‘all cheating’ importers

Cheating on import duty by some business people who collude with customs officers has prompted Finance Minister, Saada Mkuya Salum to review procedure of non physical inspection of goods.

Ms Salum who was attending World Bank and International Monetary Fund spring meeting in Washington DC said abuse of the procedure introduced by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) over five years ago has necessitated a review.

“World Bank has advised us to review the procedures of non physical inspection of imports because of dishonesty,” Ms Salum said.

In a statement released over the weekend by Treasury spokesperson, Ms Ingiahedi Mduma, the minister pointed out that physical inspection of imports will be reinstated to boost government revenue and plug leakages.

She also noted that donors have pledged to restore general budget support (GBS) following measures taken by the government to address the over 300bn/- energy sector scandal.

“Donors are satisfied by measures taken by the government to address the IPTL crisis and have promised to resume their support,” the Minister said.

The statement further noted that World Bank Country Director for Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, Mr Philippe Dongier who also attended the spring meetings commended the government for action taken against those implicated in the Tegeta Escrow Account scandal.

Mr Dongier also praised Treasury for prudence in budget expenditure saying donors will resume full support as a result of the development.

“Development partners have accepted to resume aid because of your government’s decision to act on IPTL crisis,” Mr Dongier pointed out saying reforms are also required to address the business environment to encourage private sector participation.

The Bretton Woods institutions also pledged to assist the government improve the pension scheme to address concerns by workers in retirement benefits payments.

The government has also been required to pay debts owed to private suppliers of goods and services.

Ms Salum promised to pay all genuine outstanding debts while ordering accounting officers of public institutions to stop getting goods and services from suppliers on debt.

“We are working hard to repay all debts of contractors and small scale businesses which have supporting documents,” she stressed.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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