Posts tagged as: banking

Why 2017/18 Fiscal Year Will Be Tough for TRA

Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will be under intense pressure in the current financial year as it seeks to collect an amplified amount in tax revenue against a backdrop of missed targets in 2016/17.

The taxman collected a total of Sh14.4 trillion during the 2016/17 financial year.

Much as the money was 7.67 per cent higher than the Sh13.3 trillion which was garnered during the preceding year, it still fell short of the year’s collection target, TRA data show.

A total of Sh15.1 trillion was meant to be collected as tax revenue to partly finance the government’s Sh29.5 trillion-budget for the financial year 2016/17.

With funds from development partners becoming increasingly unpredictable, execution of some development projects suffered.

Presenting a report on the national economic survey for 2016 and the national development plan for the financial year 2017/17 in Parliament in June this year, the minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango said while the government planned to spend Sh11.8 trillion on development projects in 2016/17, it managed to raise only Sh4.5 trillion as of April 2017 for that purpose. The poor performance, he said was attributed to delays in securing loans and grants due to prolonged negotiations with development partners and commercial institutions.

“Besides, interest rates rose during the period, forcing the government to defer borrowing. The rates of borrowing from international lenders rose to nine per cent from six per cent,” he said.

But against such a backdrop, TRA is now required to collect Sh17.1 trillion, which is Sh2 trillion more than what the taxman was meant to collect during the 2016/17 financial year and Sh2.7 trillion more than what it (TRA) actually achieved during the year. Similarly, development spending is also expected to increase slightly by 1.2 per cent from to Sh11.999 trillion.

This also comes against the backdrop of closure of a total of 7,277 businesses across the country between July 2016 and March 2017 even as the government says that TRA also registered a total of 224,738 businesses during the same period.

Attainable

But economists are of the view that the Sh17.1 trillion-target is practicable, saying the country’s business environment will gradually improve and thus create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

“Had last year’s ways of doing things remained, I would not have been convinced that things would move, but after new measures were introduced in the 2017/18 budget, a lot of things have changed and will continue to change and the Sh17.1 trillion can be realised,” said Prof Humphrey Moshi of the University of Dar es Salaam in a telephone interview yesterday.

Prof Moshi’s arguments are based on a number of measures that the government has taken within the 2017/18 budget aimed at stimulating economic activities.

He is specifically happy with the government’s decision to scrap the annual motor vehicle licence fee and instead raising excise duty on petroleum products by Sh40.

“Before that, one could drive a vehicle with a fake registration sticker and avoid paying the fee, but now, there will be no avoiding the tax. You cannot drive a vehicle without refueling it. So, as you refuel it, you will be paying tax,” he said.

Besides, he said the government has also exempted VAT on importation of capital goods as way of reducing procurement and importation costs on machines and plants used in production. Similarly, it has zero-rate VAT on ancillary transport services associated with goods in transit as it seeks to attract more and more business to the Dar es Salaam Port.

“This was one of the reasons behind a drop a goods at the Dar es Salaam port. This is now bound to change,” he said.

The government, said Prof Moshi, is also determined to pay its various contractors and service providers to public schools, hospitals and security organs, among others.

“All these measures will stimulate economic activities. Besides, people have realised that President John Magufuli wants everyone to work hard and pay tax. You can see how people are complying with payment of Property Tax. I am convinced that the situation will be better this year,” he said.

According to the TRA director of taxpayer services, Mr Richard Kayombo, the tax body is currently undertaking various sensitisation programmes aimed at ensuring that businesses make use of EFDs effectively. Similarly, it hopes to collect more in Corporate Tax, with the deadline for last financial year collections ending on Saturday, July 15.

Mother in Custody Over the Death of Her Son

By Beldina Nyakeke

Musoma — Police in Musoma are holding a woman with connection to the killing of her son.

Mara regional police commander Mr Mohamed Jaffari said the 22 year old women who is a resident of Rwamlimi street (name withheld), allegedly committed the crime on June 28.

He went on by saying that after one day the child died in undefined circumstances the situation that forced the neighbors to become suspicious, that the death of the child was caused by the punishment from his own mother.

Commander Jafari added that the neighbors then reported the incident to police, linking the mother with the death of her son. Thus led to her arrest her and holding her for some days while the police exams the source of the death.

“The body of the deceased child is being preserved at Mara regional government hospital for medical examinations, so that we can prove without a doubt what the cause of the death of that child was,” he explained.

Speaking to The Citizen on the condition of anonymity some neighbors said that the death of the child was caused by his own mother, as she caned him so much the circumstance led to the death of the child as he cried nonstop until he died.

They said that it was not true that the child died after one day, but he died a few hours after the punishment. Therefore alleging that the mothers source of the punishment, was that the child without being canned he would not eat the food that his mother prepared for dinner.

He said that since the child died at undefined circumstances they decided to report the incident at the police post so that thorough examination can be conducted, there after measures to be taken upon the mother to find the source of the death of her son.

Tanzania

Embattled Miner Acacia Serves Govt With Notice of Arbitration

ACACIA Mining has now served the government with notices of arbitration on their lingering dispute over the export of… Read more »

Jakaya Kikwete’s Son, Two Others Win Gold in Genius Olympiad

Photo: The Citizen

3 students from Feza Boys Secondary School won this year’s Olympiad competition in the United States.

By Alfred Zacharia

Dar es Salaam — Wearing gold medals on their necks, three students from Feza International School, Rashidi Kikwete, Abdulrazack Mkamiya and Abdallah Rubeya landed the Julius Nyerere International Airport at about round 10pm.

They were in the US for a five-day competition, Genius Olympiad Competition, held from June 13 to 17. The contest brought together about 1,200 secondary students from more than 73 countries, 22 students from Feza Schools represented Tanzania.

Rashidi Kikwete, son of former President Jakaya Kikwete and Abdulrazack Mkamiya won gold medal in arts category while Abdalah Rubeya won a short film category.

“It is more than a dream comes true,” says the younger Kikwete. According to him, he was happy when heard for the first time that he would be among students who would travel to USA for the competition. For his part, Rubeya says winning the gold medal in the short film category wasn’t easy, for went through an education system that doesn’t give much attention to ext-ra-curricular activities. He admits he was nervous over the whole thing but he did not give up.”It was not a simple task to accomplish, you can imagine how difficult it was to win against 1200 competitors,” he said

He believes that there is nothing is easy to achieve, saying those who didn’t win in the competition should not give up. Among the parents at the airport was the Former First Lady Salma Kikwete, who said that the win proves that Tanzanians can also do wonders if given a chance. “As a former first lady of this nation and a mother, I am proud to witness these achievements because it proves that our efforts towards provision education are not in futile,” she said.

Tanzania

EAC Warned on U.S.’s Threat Over Used Clothes Ban

Two days after the US Trade Representative announced that Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda risk losing access to the American… Read more »

Digital Money Accounts Boost Diaspora Remittances

Photo: Daily News

Worldremit mobile money platform.

By Masembe Tambwe

Tanzanians living in the Diaspora have hit a milestone of 10,000 unique monthly transactions using WorldRemit, a digital money transfer service.

In an exclusive communication via email, the WorldRemit founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ismail Ahmed said that there has been a 150 per cent year on year growth in Tanzania last year, driven primarily by the rapid expansion of mobile money accounts as the preferred receive method.

“Our Mobile Money partnerships combined with existing services for bank deposits and cash pick-up will give more choice to Tanzanians, further supporting the transition from costly offline remittances via high street agents to faster, cheaper and safer online transfer methods,” Mr Ahmed said.

Remittances play an important role in the economy of Tanzania where in 2015 the country received a total of 390 million US dollars according to the World Bank, almost ten times the amount received in 2010.

WorldRemit customers can send money to Tanzania via Mobile Money to TigoPesa, Vodacom M-Pesa and Zantel EzyPesa Mobile Money accounts, as well as bank deposit and cash pick up.

The money transfer service early this week added Android Pay to its service, offering a new way for WorldRemit’s Android Pay users to send money internationally and reach millions using mobile money accounts.

Pioneering a mobile-first approach to the $600bn a year remittance industry, the move sees WorldRemit bringing together the leading players in mobile payments from Silicon Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launching the global rollout of the service at MoneyConf 2017, WorldRemit will enable Android Pay users to safely and securely send money to +112 million mobile money accounts accessible via its network.

The integration will make WorldRemit the only remittance provider offering international payments through Android Pay around the globe. By connecting directly with Android Pay, WorldRemit customers can transfer money instantly across continents in just five taps – without entering credit card or 3DS details.

Tanzania

335 Tax Defaulters’ Properties to be Auctioned

Tanesco is among the 335 companies and individuals, whose properties will be auctioned in July at the Dar es Salaam… Read more »

Political Parties Challenged to Embrace Gender Equality

By Janeth Mesomapya

Dar es Salaam — Women participation in politics is said to remain low because it isn’t a priority within political parties. Political Science Professor Ruth Meena voiced this during a panel discussion at this year’s Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Wednesday.

She said that the gender gap in politics is fueled by the fact that gender equality is not a priority, even in nominating candidates during the elections. “The constitution should compel political parties to align with international policies in order to enhance gender equality and bridge the gap,” she said.

Former Parliament Speaker Ms Anna Makinda said young girls should be taught to be bold from the family level to be able to stand against any sort of gender discrimination. “Let’s build a society where women are confident of who they are and participate all socio-economic activities,” she added.

Tanzania

Magufuli Orders Seizure of Undeveloped Farms

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has directed the confiscation of all undeveloped farms in the country and ordered that… Read more »

Many in Hot Water After Magufuli’s Second Minerals Report

By Katare Mbashiru

President John Magufuli has directed the security apparatus to summon and interrogate all officials who were mentioned in the second report on the export of mineral concentrates.

Among them are former cabinet ministers who entered into shoddy Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) with mining companies, occasioning loss to the country in taxes between 1998 and 2017.

Others are former Attorneys General (AGs), their deputies, former commissioners of minerals, directors of contracts departments, lawyers in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and others who participated in the drafting of the agreements, as well as provision and renewal of mining licences.

Speaking at the State House in Dar es Salaaam yesterday after receiving a report from an eight-member team led by Professor Nehemiah Osoro, Dr Magufuli said he endorsed all its recommendations.

The Osoro-led committee also proposed that legal steps should be taken against workers and owners of the biggest mining companies, Freight Forwarders (T) Limited for contravening the country’s laws.

Some of the individuals featuring in the report include former ministers for energy and minerals – Daniel Yona, Nazir Karamagi,Wiliam Ngeleja and Professor Sospeter Muhongo.

Others are former commissioners of minerals Paulo Masanja and Dr Dalali Kafumu, as well as Acting Commissioner of Minerals Ally Samaje. Featured too are former AGs (by virtue of which they were chief state legal advisors) Andrew Chenge and Johnson Mwanyika.

The list also includes former deputy AGs, Felix Mrema and Sazi Salula as well as the heads of the contracts department, Maria Kejo and Julius Malaba.

” I hereby direct intelligence and security officials to summon all the individuals who have been mentioned in this report and interrogate them, as a preamble to taking appropriate legal actions,” he said.

The mining companies that signed vague agreements with the ministry of Energy and Minerals, according to the report, are Bulyanhulu Gold Mines Limited (Kahama Mine Corporation Limited), North Mara Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Gold Mine Limited – all of which are under the Acacia Gold Mine Plc as well as Geita Gold Mine Limited (AngloGold Ashanti Limited).

Dr Magufuli furthermore called for a review of the Mining Act, directing lawyers in the ministries of Energy and Minerals, as well as Justice and Constitutional Affairs to work together to make important amendments that will help the country to benefit from the natural resources.

“Our country is endowed with a lot of natural resources but our people are still languishing in abject poverty because of some people who subordinate individual gains to national interests,” he said. He blamed some officials who ignored potential investors who had shown interest to build smelters in the country.

The Head of State said the country needed investors who were ready for conducting business under win-win arrangements and not exploiters who had been siphoning the country’s resources. He asked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, to explore the possibility of squeezing amendments in the law within the ongoing parliamentary budget session.

“Even if this entails extension of the session for an extra week, I am ready to give you the go-ahead and give you full support, to enable us amend our legislation for the benefit of our country,” he added.

Mr Ndugai, who also attended the report’s handing over function, said the House was ready to overhaul the law, adding that he also intended to form a team for overseeing the country’s diamond business as he did relating to Tanzanite.

In an interview with the ‘Daily News’, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, said he would facilitate the amendments of the Mining Act as directed by the Head of State. The president accepted all the committee’s 20 recommendations.

Hawkers Threaten to Return to Nakuru Town Streets

By Magdalene Wanja And Reitz Mureithi

Tension is rising in Nakuru town after hawkers threatened to return to the streets.

Residents woke up to a dramatic scenes on Wednesday morning after the hawkers demarcated parking lots along the town’s Kenyatta Avenue, Gusii and Neru Pundit roads, with some writing their names on the tarmac using white chalk.

The hawkers then put pieces of sack on the sections they had demarcated to show seriousness of their intentions.

It was not clear who could be behind the looming return of the hawkers who were driven out of the streets by the county government two years ago.

But the business community in the town suspect a political hand could be behind the turn of events, given that their eviction had been politicised.

CAUGHT UNAWARES

Shop owners in town were caught unawares by the Wednesday morning scenes. Shocked and confused, they stood outside their shops in small groups conversing in low tones.

The battle between the hawkers and the county government has quietly been simmering since January 2015 when they were forcefully evicted from Nakuru Central Business District following a directive issued by Governor Kinuthia Mbugua.

According to the governor, the hawkers’ presence on Nakuru streets created disorder, making it difficult for visitors to navigate their way around the town.

The hawkers were then moved to the bus terminus area where stalls were hurriedly erected and allocated to individuals.

Traders in food produce were taken to the town’s Wakulima market where a temporary structure was established to accommodate them.

CAMPAIGN AGENDA

The hawkers’ eviction quickly formed a campaign agenda for candidates who were seeking various elective posts in the August 8 polls.

Depending on whether one was for or against the eviction of hawkers, two teams were formed.

The opposing team was led by Nakuru East MP David Gikaria and backed by his Nakuru West counterpart Mr Samuel Arama.

Governor Mbugua took reigns of the proposers’ team and was publicly supported by Biashara Ward representative Stephen Kuria.

As news came in on April 27 that Mr Mbugua had lost the Jubilee nomination to Mr Lee Kinyanjui, residents quickly concluded that it was the eviction episode that prematurely killed his political dream.

ANTICIPATED DEFEAT

Vendors in Wakulima and Nacha markets said they had anticipated the defeat as they had vowed to send the governor home.

However, during his campaigns Mr Kinyanjui went on record saying his administration would look into the plight of the hawkers.

During the just concluded Jubilee Party primaries, leaflets warning business owners against nominating Mr Lee Kinyanjui because he ‘intended’ to bring back the hawkers to the streets, were circulated in the town a day before the nominations.

Mr Kinyanjui dismissed the claims terming them as “kicks of a dying horse”.

He said he said he has never made any promises to return the hawkers back to the streets despite being against their forceful eviction.

Mineral Output, Export Audit System Polished

By Bernard Lugongo

Dodoma — Over the years, Tanzania has improved its national capacity of physically auditing mineral production and exports, a new study has established.

Launched by the Energy and Minerals Parliamentary Committee on Monday, the report on ‘Taxation and the State of Africa Mining Vision implementation’, attributed the introduction of mineral audit agency, the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA), to the achievement.

“This has resulted in identification of unpaid taxes owed, while helping to build the capacity of mining companies to calculate tax revenues payable.”

Presenting the report to members of the committee, a representative of the Tax Justice Network-Africa (TINA), which conducted the study since 2011, said following the introduction of the Mining Policy of 2009, the country has also undertaken reforms in the tax systems to increase revenue from the mining sector. The move has seen the revenue increased from 2.4 per cent to about 4.4 per cent in 2001 to 2014, respectively.

However,it suggested that the country still needed to do more with respect to reviewing terms of double taxation agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT’s) which Tanzania had signed with host countries of mining companies.

The Committee’s Chairman, Dotto Biteko, said the report had come at a right time, considering the ongoing exploration in various parts of the country, promising that the committee will use it as a reference tool.

Commenting on the report, Mlimba MP Susan Kiwanga said the document will be a crucial tool for her to effectively oversee the government on issues of mining taxation, considering that the country has continued to discover minerals in various areas.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

323 Million/ – Given to Rombo Expected to Accelerate Economic Development

By Queen Isack

Rombo — Rombo District Council has been given some 323m/- for development projects in the 2016/17 financial year, so as to speed up development, it has been revealed here.

Rombo District Executive Director (DED), Ms Agnes John, said the money would be spent on important public projects like water provision, health centres, and ward offices. Speaking to villagers and council officials, Ms John stressed that village and ward officials should manage the projects effectively, a critical aspect being judicious expenditure of funds.

The official emphasized that the people, as the targeted beneficiaries, should keep close track of the projects, by, among other measures, regularly demanding income-andexpenditure records. She furthermore stressed that those who would not comply with government directives would be duly sanctioned.

The DED said the government had allocated 1bn/- for a water project in Ngareni village and 927m/- for construction of roads in Leto village.

The Rombo District Commissioner (DC), Ms Agnes Hokororo, said officials and the people should forge a close alliance in order to facilitate smooth execution of projects and other purposes for which public funds were allocated.

She stressed that the government was determined to elevate transparency and accountability to the peak, since it was only thus that poverty could at best be eradicated, and at worst, reduced.

The Ngoyoni Ward Executive Officer, Mr Isaya Tarimo, said the biggest challenge he faced was little awareness among the people on their importance to contribute willingly and seriously to development projects.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

Don’t Lecture Me On Kilifi Development, Kingi Tells Uhuru

By Kazungu Samuel

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop lecturing him on the Sh9 billion the county gets from the equitable share.

Instead, Mr Kingi said the President should tell Kilifi residents what he has done with the trillions of shillings given to national government annually.

Speaking at Ngerenya trading centre accompanied by Woman Representative Aisha Jumwa, the governor said he could name the projects he had initiated with the funds in the county but there was nothing to show from the national government.

“I have today inspected more than 10 projects in this Ward (Tezo) and many more projects we initiated since coming to power in 2013. We have implemented many projects in all the 35 wards in the county and that is what the Sh9 billion has done for us as Kilifi people,” he said.

The governor told Jubilee supporters in Kilifi that before poking holes on the county projects, they should first show the residents any projects that the national government initiated to benefit them.

“Whenever the President comes to Kilifi, he always talk of the Sh9 billion shillings that we get from the national government. At least we can show the people projects that we initiated with the funds.

“Before Jubilee supporters lament over county projects, they should first tell us what the trillions of money held at the treasury has done to improve on the lives of our people,” he said.

Ms Jumwa also asked the Jubilee administration to explain how 85 per cent of the funds that remain with the national government has benefited the locals.

“Only 15 per cent is given to the counties and still we can see projects initiated with the funds. Can the Jubilee government tell us what projects it has done with the funds instead of trying to lure people to join it,” she said.

The governor said it was for those failures that the residents should reject Jubilee and vote for Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) as the President on August 8.

He told the President to expect a bruising battle for the Kilifi votes which he said was sure will go to Raila’s ballot in August.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta did not get any votes in 2013 and a replica of the same is about to happen on August 8. He will get nothing because the people of Kilifi know their quest for change lies in Raila Odinga,” Mr Kingi said.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

A bodyguard involved in a road accident with former President Mwai Kibaki has alleged in a court case he was mistreated… Read more »

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