Posts tagged as: private

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.

TFDA’s Clients Charter Out, Offers Free Phone Service

By Katare Mbashiru

The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has launched its Clients’ Service Charter, 2016 (Third edition) which, among other things, has reduced the number of days for registration of imported medicinal products from 360 in 2006 to 240.

As part of initiatives for improving the standard of service delivery, the charter has also reduced the number of days for registration of low risk food products to 40 from 240 in 2006, and, the registration of high risk food products will now take 50 days.

Under the new charter, the process of issuing import and export permits for registered food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices, will take a single day, while it took between two and five days previously.

Speaking during the official launching of the charter in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TFDA Director General (DG) Hiiti Sillo said the timeframe for service delivery would be reduced depending on the availability of resources.

“It should be noted that nowadays, much emphasis is placed on efficiency, and so, the number of days may drop to fewer than the ones outlined in the charter,” he said.

According to the DG, the purpose of the charter is to openly show the responsibilities of TFDA to comply with the required quality standards in serving clients.

This, he pointed out, was in line with the National Development Vision 2025, the National Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction 2015 and the National Trade Policy 2003 on promotion of the private sector as the engine of the economy as well as being flexible to address the new changes.

According to Mr Sillo, the charter further aims at providing information to clients about TFDA services and strengthens the relationship between the authority and clients in various areas.

Among other benefits, the new charter will help people to know the types of services TFDA offered, and the quality of specific services. The minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, commended TFDA for reviewing the charter in its quest for enhancing services.

In the speech read on her behalf by the Acting Director of Curative Services in the ministry, Dr Doroth Gwajima, the minister said the clients’ charter was a common thing in many countries around the world, as a tool for improving services in various government institutions.

She remarked: “As a country, we need to cherish this as part of the government’s quest to provide services for all in a professional, responsible and transparent manner.” The charter’s launch coincided the Public Service Week which kicked off yesterday.

In another development, TFDA launched the Toll Free Service number where clients can now call to the food and drugs watchdog free of charge to raise their concerns and get feedback by dialling 0800110084.

KPL Pursue New TV Deal, Mull Action Against SuperSport

Photo: Courtesy

Spanish La Liga President Javier Tebas (right) poses for photos with Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier at the KPL offices in Nairobi on May 9, 2017.

By Cellestine Olilo

The Kenyan Premier League are consulting with their Spanish partners, La Liga, regarding the private packaging and selling of the local league’s broadcast rights.

At the same time, KPL have approached their legal team concerning SuperSport’s abrupt termination of their multi-million broadcast rights sponsorship deal last month with a view of seeking redress in a court of law.

Speaking from Johannesburg in South Africa where he is on official duty, KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda said that all these was discussed during KPL’s last Executive Committee meeting.

Oguda said that getting the league back on live television was a priority for the members and that data collection is currently ongoing to help guide the league on the matter.

“La Liga are our partners now and they have taken an interest to help us get the games back on air.

“Right now we are getting data locally which we will share with them so that they can give us a way forward.

“They (La Liga) have advised that giving the broadcast rights to organisations that are Free To Air would be the most viable place to start from and once they get that data they will be able to give further advise on how to package and even approach potential buyers.”

But this proposal first rolled off the mouths of Football Kenya Federation last month, and they even went ahead to acquire substantial amounts of money (Sh75 million) in grants from Fifa for this purpose.

“We will produce these matches ourselves. Let’s take control of the content and then go mobile, FTA and PayTV. Exciting times ahead. We have to produce all the matches. Nine every weekend. Package highlights, preview etc. from one source. Content control,” FKF president Nick Mwendwa had said at the time.

Oguda however said that theirs will be a separate venture, as La Liga look well capable of helping KPL achieve their objective much faster.

“We had discussed this in our Joint Executive Committee meeting, but now that the La Liga representatives are in the picture, we feel that their route is also worth pursuing.”

KPL entered a three-year partnership with their La Liga on Thursday last week that would see them benefit from their counterparts’ expertise in league management.

The new partnership, for which there will be no financial gains, came one month after South African broadcasters SuperSport terminated their contract with the local league organisers citing breach of contract and eventually laid off more than 100 employees in the country.

Kenya

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Dar es Salaam, Arusha Rule the Roost As Fakes Rock Insurance Sector

By Hazla Omar

Arusha — Arusha and Dar es Salaam are the country’s two cities reported to be notorious in having the highest number of vehicles with counterfeit insurance cover stickers glued on their windscreens.

A statement from the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) explains that more than 10 per cent of all vehicles cruising on the country’s roads and landscape do not have genuine insurance covers, but cleverly faked replicas, which is against traffic regulations and national laws.

TIRA Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware stated in the statement that the influx of forged protection comes from a network of racketeers including underwriters of local insurance firms.

“Usually, motorists and car owners collude with officers of insurance firms so that they can be given cheap faked stickers or use single cover for multiple vehicles, sometimes motorcycle insurance is used on motor vehicles and even stickers for small private cars are glued onto heavy commercial vehicles,” pointed Dr Saqware.

With the number of active motor vehicles being estimated to be around 400,000, it seems more than 40,000 cars are running around full of risk, without the necessary or valid insurance covers, in the wake of myriad road accidents.

According to the recent World Bank (WB) Collection of Development Indicators, the number of car distribution in Tanzania places the country at seven cars per every 1,000 people and at the estimated population of 50 million residents; the number of vehicles should be around 400,000.

Dar es Salaam Region, with around 120,000 vehicles roaming the city, accounts for 30 per cent of the country’s total number of cars but also leads in having the highest number of fake insurance stickers followed by Arusha, according to TIRA.

To serve the vehicles, there are 31 insurance companies in Tanzania, and between them, over 100 brokers and 500 agents. The national coffers reportedly collect more than 700 billion/- revenue from insurance firms every year, despite the lost returns from fake vehicle covers.

TIRA, other than conducting thorough inspection of motor vehicles here, was on the other hand launching their new digital portal known as Motors Insurance Stickers (MIS) mobile application or ‘TIRA-MIS’ which has been hatched to manage motor insurance stickers and their respective cover notes and therefore solve the influx of fake covers.

According to Mr Eliezer Rweikiza, the TIRA Northern Zone Manager, local insurers, brokers and agents will be able to use this portal to complete and submit relevant information regarding motor insurance stickers and their affiliated cover note, issued at a particular time on-line.

Mr Aaron Mlaki, the Manager in-charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for TIRA, said that all vehicle owners and motorists will be able to verify details right from the palms of their hands.

Using the ‘TIRA-MIS’ portal, all stakeholders are able to verify the issued stickers and respective cover notes on-line by clicking the link ‘Validate Motor Insurance Sticker’ or sending a short message to 15200 with a word STICKER followed by the respective ‘Motor Insurance Sticker Number.’

The verification can also be done online upon signing onto the MIS-TIRA website at this link ‘mis.tira.go.tz’ and following instructions.

IMF Lowers Uganda’s Growth Forecast to 3.5 Per Cent

By Martin Luther Oketch

Kampala — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday projected that Uganda’s economic growth for the fiscal year 2016/17 will be in the range of 3.5 to 4 per cent down from its earlier official estimate of 5 per cent for this financial year.

The IMF said the drought held back economic activity in the first part of the year especially in agricultural sector. Other factors were low private sector credit and the slow execution of externally financed public investment.

However, the IMF was not fully pessimistic about Uganda’s economic growth in the medium term. “With weather conditions improving and a recovery in credit, growth could accelerate to 5 per cent in the Financial Year 2017/18,” said the IMF mission team to Uganda, Dr Alex Schimmelpfennig during the joint news conference with the ministry of Finance and Bank of Uganda (BoU).

The IMF mission team visited Uganda between May 2 and 15 to conduct consultations and discussions on the 8th review under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI), which the Fund’s executive board is expected to discuss in early July.

Dr Schimmelpfennig said growth should recover over the medium term but risks are tilted to the down side, pointing out that infrastructure and oil sector investments could yield growth of between 6 and 6.5 per cent over the next three to four years.

He added: “The agricultural sector remains exposed to climate conditions and pest infestations.”

In the first half of FY 2016/17, Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product growth was lower than-expected, largely reflecting temporary adverse weather related factors.

Govt’s word

The Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, said government policy of making all contracts in Uganda currency is for the locally produced goods and services should not be charged in US dollar against the exchange rate fluctuation. He said it fits in well with the new policy of Buy Uganda, Build Uganda. “This policy is meant to increase production by buying the local commodities,” he said.

Uganda

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Ghana: Ghana to Construct World’s Largest LPG-Powered Plant

press release

Ghana is poised to construct one of the world’s largest LPG-fired power plant, as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut the sod for the commencement of a 400-MegaWatt Bridge Power project in the port city of Tema.

“This project is one of several initiatives to be introduced along the power supply value chain in order to achieve a cost effective, efficient and sustainable energy sector in Ghana,” noted the President.

Throwing more light on the project at the sod-cutting ceremony, President Akufo-Addo explained that the $1 billion project is consistent with his government’s vision of making Ghana self-sufficient in electricity for industrial and domestic use, and to drive the country’s socio-economic development.

He stated that it was regrettable that Ghana had not fared well in negotiations with private power producers in recent years; especially as such agreements were negotiated during emergency periods and times of power shortages.

President Akufo-Addo however noted that his government, nonetheless, is a natural cheerleader for the private sector, but will do so within the framework of protecting the public purse.

“For us laypersons, our interest in these agreements rests largely on cost, reliability and flexibility. I am glad to learn the plant will be able to operate on LPG, natural gas, and diesel and this flexibility will allow the plant to continue producing power in times of disruption in the supply of any one of the fuel types”, he added.

He said he was also glad that the project has been specifically designed to switch to Ghana’s own natural gas, once available, adding that, “this should help advance our strategy to leverage natural gas as a long-term source of fuel, central to the operation of the power sector,” he said.

The President stated that he was looking forward to working with Early Power Limited to help his government fulfill its vision of creating a modern, efficient, diversified, and financially sustainable energy economy.

“I intend to grow this economy industrially, and that can be achieved when we have adequate, cost effective and sustainable power supply. The programmes this government has lined up to undertake, such as the ‘One District, One Factory’, and the ‘One Village One Dam’ projects, will all require significant amounts of electricity”.

President Akufo-Addo stressed that power produced in this country must be cost effective, efficient and sustainable and that he had been informed that the technology of the Early Power Limited is one of the most efficient types in the world.

The President indicated that his government has commenced actions that will improve transparency in tariff setting, adding that “we aim to introduce very soon a new tariff policy that will reclassify consumer categories in order to protect lifeline and strategic industrial consumers”.

He expressed the hope that the sector ministers will work with the private producers to address any challenges that may arise satisfactorily during the implementation of the project.

“If, indeed, it becomes necessary, which I hope it will not, to go higher up the chain of authority, I want you to know that my doors will always be open. I do, on the other hand, insist that, on your part, you play according to the rules and regulations of the sector and the country as a whole,” he added.

Whilst pledging to make electricity available under his administration, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to use electricity efficiently.

“Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Switch off fans when not needed. Iron your clothes in bulk. These are just a few, simple actions we can all take. Not only will you be saving money for yourself, but these habits are acts of citizenship and common humanity. For the industrial customers, I urge you to use energy efficient machinery and equipment at your facilities. These human attitudes prove that, even when you have power, you care enough to save what you do not need so others, too, may have,” he advised.

Bridge Power is being developed by the Early Power Limited (EPL) consortium, made up of Endeavor Energy, a leading independent power development and Generation Company focused on Africa; Sage, a leading independent Ghanaian energy trading firm; and GE (General Electric), the world’s premier digital industrial company, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year or early next year.

Source: ISD with additional files from the presidency

Kejo Comes Back With ‘The Day Before the Tour’

By Janeth Mesomapya

Dar es Salaam — Norwegian-Tanzanian painter Mr Ibrahim Kejo is showcasing a collection of private drawings, titled ‘The day before the Tour’.

The exhibition, held at Oasis Restaurant in Masaki from May 16-27, is a free event.

According to Kejo’s Marketing Manager Mr Jonas Njau, this is part of a series of exhibitions that started in March this year.

Kejo plans to take his work across East Africa and Europe later this year.

Tanzania

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393 Large Scale Industries Established Under Magufuli

Photo: The Citizen

President John Magufuli at the processing factory in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — Over 390 large scale industries with a capital flow of $2.3 billion (Sh5.1 trillion) have been established since the fifth phase government assumed office, the Parliament was told on Wednesday.

Presenting his budget speech in the Parliament, the Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, said the industries had created over 38,860 employment opportunities to Tanzanians.

The minister revealed that Tanzania Investment Center registered 242 new investment projects in a period between July 2016 and March 2017 worth $2 million.

“Out of 242 projects,170 are industries, and 17,385 jobs are expected to be created,” the minister told the Parliament.

The minister also revealed that a total of 1,843 small scale industries have been registered across the country in a period between July 2016 and March 2017.

The industrial sector, according to the minister, grew by 7.8% in 2016 compared to 6.5% in 2015. The sector also contributed 5.1 per cent to the GDP in 2016 compared to 5.2 per cent in 2015.

The minister asked the Parliament to approve Sh122 billion for his office in the 2017/18 financial year.

According to Mwijage, Sh42 billion is for recurrent expenditures and Sh80 billion will be used to implement development projects.

The minister reiterated that the government still believed that the private sector held a crucial role in propelling the growth of industries in the country.

Tanzania

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South Africa: Improved Policies to Secure Cyberspace

Pretoria — Government is making inroads in putting in place policy and legislative measures that will secure South Africa’s cyberspace.

These include the Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill, which is currently before Parliament, after having gone through a process of consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

The Bill seeks to ensure that the country has the relevant legislative framework in place.

In partnership with institutions of higher learning, government has also launched capacity building programmes that will bolster the State Security Agency’s capacity to respond to the problem of cyber insecurity.

“These initiatives will not only bolster the capacity of government to respond to cyber insecurity, but it will create a skills base that will improve cybersecurity for the public and private sectors,” said State Security Mister David Mahlobo on Tuesday.

Such efforts come as South Africa remains one of the targets for cybercrime.

Research shows that small companies and ordinary citizens, especially unsuspecting children, are being increasingly targeted by cyber criminals. Hacktivists from ransomware, identity theft, cyber bullying, internet banking fraud and the misuse of social networks are some of the most rampant challenges in cyberspace.

Last weekend, the world experienced ransomware attacks on networks. This had potentially disastrous consequences for individuals, governments, business and society as a whole.

The recent attacks affected more than 100 countries, including the UK health care system and railway system in Germany, among others.

Minister Mahlobo said the Government Computer Security Incident Response Centre is monitoring the situation, after having sent advisories to government departments, State-owned enterprises and financial institutions to secure their networks.

South Africa

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Saving Tanzanians From Themselves

Photo: The Citizen

Tanzanian flag.

columnBy Kasera Nick Oyoo

This story was told in a daladala. In 2013, a daladala was stopped by military personnel on a busy road in Dar es Salaam. The conductor and his driver were then asked, nay, ordered, to offload their passengers and proceed to a nearby barracks.

They were then ordered to continue doing what they normally do on the road, that is the driver would drive to and fro within the barracks while the conductor shouted for passengers. This punishment continued until the vehicle ran out of fuel six hours later.

The punishment was prescribed by the soldiers because the daladala crew had refused to carry students from a nearby secondary school because they had a penchant for being unruly and refusing to pay fare, ostensibly because their fathers were military officers. Apparently, daladala crews on this route had for years been tormented by students, especially from this particular school.

We retell this story not to discredit the school, an otherwise historic institute which has produced brilliant and upright students who have gone on to become leaders in this country, but to tell how morally bankrupt we have become as a nation to allow our shameless egos to flow into our children and let them and us torment the less powerful, poor, weak and infirm.

Many stories are told of the ills Tanzania has experienced. There are students who disrespect and defy all authority because their parents encourage them to do so. It’s a story of the rich who do not follow the laid-down rules anywhere, including in private hospitals; the powerful whose failed sons got undeserved scholarships and the guys who built on wetlands because their jobs and money made them untouchable. Woe unto you if, as a civil servant, you tried to do your job. Your goose was cooked. In more recent years, having the police serve personal interests has become the rule rather than the exception.

President John Magufuli has been on a self-declared road to Damascus to save us, the doubting Thomases, from ourselves.

It takes courage and determination to take on the Tanzanian way of life in which making easy money has long been the in thing. We went on to brand it ujanja (cunning). We lived it and anyone who was not on the gravy train was seen as the polar opposite of wajanja. The wajanja got away with blue murder at every corner and were to be seen driving fuel-guzzling four-wheel-drive vehicles without an iota of explanation as to what business they did and whether or not it was legit.

You needed to know someone for you to be somebody. These guys got huge loans (which were never repaid), set up businesses, controlled the prices of goods and rented their ill-gotten gains to the rest of us. Farming went out of fashion as they bought us rounds and rounds of drinks and boasted how easy it was to make a quick buck. Meanwhile, we the hoi polloi cheered on as the nation went tumbling into the abyss.

Where super profits became the be all et all, when faking examination results to get a head-start in life was not frowned up, when copying research of others to obtain degrees became the norm and when nearly everyone tried to obtain a PHD.

Those on the gravy train did not want change. They wanted the gravy train to continue and last forever. Then Dr Magufuli happened and change is here.

The United Republic of Tanzania needed saving. What Tanzania needs is moral order. Parts of the constitution which ought to can be changed in areas where there are challenges. This shouldn’t cost billions of shillings. Moral order will see this country better governed as it will change many of the things we left to go wrong and constitutional failings. You don’t lie at every turn just because the constitution has no room for independent presidential candidates. Do you?

Tanzania

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