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  • Tanzania: Bunge Teams Urge Sectoral Improvements

    Feb 8th, 2019

    Two parliamentary committees yesterday raised at least ten issues they want the government to tackle to improve sectors and boost Tanzania's economy. The committees are Land, Natural Resources and Tourism as well as Agriculture, Livestock and Water.

    Presenting his committee's report, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Water, Mr Mahmoud Mgimwa, advanced seven proposals, saying: "The government should speed up the verification exercise for cashew nuts and their payments to prevent corruption." The verification process itself, he said, should be transparent and should involve farmers or representatives from their cooperative unions. Mr Mgimwa, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Mufindi North on a ruling party ticket, said payment of farmers' dues must also go hand in hand with payments of levies to district councils. This will boost their basket of revenues, he said. He opined further that the government should have both short and long term plans to promote cashew nut processing industries and set up storage facilities.

    Since the disbandment of the Cashew nut Board of Tanzania by President John Magufuli in November, last year, issues pertaining to the crop have been handled by the Cereals and Other Produce Board (CPB). The committee also wants the government to prepare a long-term strategic plan to deal with marketing challenges of all cash crops. Speaking on behalf of the Land, Natural Resources and Tourism Committee, Dr Stephen Kiruswa suggested a review of multiplicity of taxes, establishment of direct flights to and from other countries, massive investments in cultural tourism and use of a biometric system. He also suggested that the government should introduce guidelines for tour guides and porters as well as enact a law that would bind employers to provide tour guides and porters with contracts.

    Citing the Value Added Tax on tourism services, Dr Kiruswa warned that the tax burden and other charges made Tanzania as a destination more expensive than Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. "Furthermore, if the government invests in cultural tourism, the sector will contribute more to the country's economy," he said.