Posts tagged as: tra

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.

Yono Seizes Properties of 68 Billion/ – Tax Defaulters

Yono Auction Mart has seized properties worth 68.1bn/-, belonging to businesspeople who are yet to honour their tax obligations with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

The properties were seized during an ongoing operation to crack the whip at tax defaulters, carried out in collaboration with TRA. Yono, who are auctioneers, debt collectors and commission agents were contracted by the tax watchdog to collect debts.

According to Yono Auction Mart Managing Director, Scholastica Kevela, her company was contracted by TRA to collect debts in Dar es Salaam, Coast, Njombe, Mbeya, Iringa and Zanzibar.

“We are firm and strong and we want to give assurance that we shall descend on all people who have failed to honour their tax obligations,” she said, adding that no stone shall remain unturned. She further advised Tanzanians to pay taxes voluntarily instead of waiting for unnecessary operations as through Tax, the country is able to attain development.

“I request all Tanzanians to support the efforts by President John Magufuli to bring development to the country by ensuring that all people are paying taxes so that social services can be availed to all,” she said.

In regards to reports circulating in the social media that some properties belonging to Lugumi Enterprises Limited were being held by Yono Auction Mart, Ms Kevela confirmed that the reports were true. “You heard of reports that we are holding some houses belonging to Lugumi.

I want to confirm that it is true because he is yet to honour his obligations amounting to 14bn/-. She named others who are yet to pay taxes as GM Dewji (1.8bn/-) and Mutluhan Construction Company Ltd (45bn/-).

According to her, those who are yet to clear their dues should do so within 14 days failure to which their properties will be auctioned.

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Put in Place Proper Mechanism On Uncollected Taxes, TRA Urged

By Faustine Kapama

Dodoma — The Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Prof Mussa Assad, has appealed to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to enhance debt management, enforcement and recovery mechanisms in order to collect all due taxes, having discovered uncollected tax of over 588bn/-.

Such mechanism, he said, would avoid long outstanding taxes in arrears from assessment made through the Selfassessment, Tax Investigation Department, Examination Unit and Tax Audit Unit.

“My review of Tax Investigation Register, Tax Arrears Register and other supporting documents noted uncollected taxes amounting to 588,833,422,160/-,”Prof Assad said in his Central Government Annual General Report 2015/16 financial year.

Out of such amount, he said, a sum of 70,974,430,676/- relates to Large Taxpayer Department, including an interest of 3,446,958,859/60, another sum of 92,025,604,941/- relates to Tax Investigation Department and 425,833,386,543/07 relates to Domestic Revenue Department for 10 tax regions. The amount, according to him, was inclusive of interests computed on four tax regions amounting to 31,002,818,053/75 and unsupported tax recoveries of 9,451,269,539/73.

The regions are Kilimanjaro, Temeke, Mbeya, Dodoma, Mtwara, Iringa, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tanga, Ilala, Mwanza and Kinondoni.

“Presence of such taxes in arrears raises questions as to why the Authority failed to collect assessed taxes on time or enforce recovery measures whenever possible as the law requires,” the CAG said in his report presented before the National Assembly here on Thursday. In his view, he said, inadequate debt recovery and enforcement mechanisms, especially in TRA Regional Offices contributed significantly to the existence of long outstanding taxes in arrears.

“This amiss signifies that there is room for improvement in debt management and recovery mechanisms,” he said.

Prof Assad further pointed out that his review of the sample of taxpayers files and other relevant documents, such as taxpayers returns of income, VAT special relief beneficiary records, VAT returns and declarations filed by the taxpayer, noted underassessment of taxes payable by 7,534,260,240/-.

Out of that tax liability, he said, a sum of 1,309,978,057/42 relates to a sample of six VAT return reports at Large Taxpayer Department and 6,224,282,182/36 for tested taxpayers from 12 tax regions under the Domestic Revenue Department.

He said that under-assessment was attributed to inadequate reviews and analyses of taxpayers’ information by the Authority and at times failure to collate self-assessed taxable income in the Final Returns of Income, VAT returns and Declarations filed by taxpayers with that of TRA records.

“My review, therefore, noted that self-assessment returns were not well reviewed which, in turn, offers opportunity for collusive practices and abuse of self-assessment system by unscrupulous persons. Hence, denying the government its rightful revenue,” the CAG said.

Prof Assad suggests, therefore, for strengthening audit checks and investigations to reduce fictitious input-tax claimants from the VAT network and curb under-declarations in the income tax returns. He further recommends for investigation on all identified under-assessments and then recovers all payable taxes together with interest and penalty thereof as required by the tax laws.

Tanzania: Govt Asks for Extradition of Former Senior Banker

Photo: The Citizen

Stanbic Bank Tanzania (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania has asked Kenya to extradite former Stanbic Bank CEO Bashir Awale to face charges in the $600 million government bond bribery scandal, it has emerged.

Attorney General George Masaju has reportedly sought help from his Kenyan counterpart, Mr Githu Muigai, to bring back Mr Awale for questioning over the bribery scandal that rocked the final years of Jakaya President Kikwete’s government.

If extradited, Mr Awale will likely be joined in the case that has seen former Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) boss Harry Kitilya and two other prominent individuals charged and remanded since April, last year. Mr Kitilya, former Miss Tanzania Shose Sinare and Mr Sioi Sumari, all former officials of Stanbic bank, are languishing in jail awaiting hearing of their application for bail.

The three have been charged with money laundering, forgery, abuse of position, corruption, obtaining advantage and transfer of proceeds.

Yesterday, Kenyan media reported that President John Magufuli’s government wants Mr Awale to answer questions over the transaction of the deal in which he is said to have played a key role.

According to an investigation in the UK by the Serious Fraud Office, Mr Awale, Mr Kitilya and Ms Sinare were key players in pushing the deal through, leading to a $6 million (Sh12 billion) bribery scam.

Mr Awale was deported to Kenya soon after the 2015 General Election for allegedly being in the country illegally.

He was also accused of involvement in Tanzanian politics, and was said to be one of the chief behind-the-scenes strategists for the then Chadema presidential candidate, Mr Edward Lowassa.

Mr Awale had lived in Tanzania for many years and at one time served as Barclays Bank manager.

According to reports from Nairobi, Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is assisting Tanzanian authorities to have a Kenyan at the centre of a Ksh600 million ($6 million) bribery scandal in Tanzania arrested and questioned.

President Magufuli’s administration has sought Kenya’s help to have Mr Awale, a former bank official, record a statement.

Mr Masaju wrote to Mr Muigai under mutual legal assistance (MLA) asking to have Mr Awale provide evidence two years after he was deported.

Mr Awale is accused of organising the money as an inducement to have state officials favour two banks when Tanzania floated an international bond in 2012.

“We have received the MLA and are working closely with the State Law office in line with the request. A team of investigators from Tanzania and Kenya has been put in place to implement the request,” EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo said.

The EACC boss, however, did not give details on the timelines of their work and if they had summoned the suspect.

Mr Awale was arrested in December 2015 and deported over claims of illegal stay. He was said to have been among the presidential campaign team members of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who lost to Magafuli.

Dar es Salam petitioned Nairobi to have Bashir record a witness statement outlining his alleged involvement in the scam. The Prevention and Combating Corruption Bureau (PCCB) seeks evidential materials that will assist in investigations and securing convictions, according to media reports in Kenya.

He is accused alongside former TRA Commissioner General Mr Kitilya, former bank managers Ms Sinare and Mr Sumari. The three

Mr Awale was Stanbic Tanzania chief for seven years and was fired on August 19, 2013 for failing to co-operate in investigations. The bank later announced that he had left voluntarily.

“In order for the information and evidence requested to be admissible in the courts of Tanzania, its requested that any written statement or deposition be signed at the conclusion of each page and after the last word,” the MLA dated August 15, 2016 reads in part.

The government needed to raise funds for infrastructural requirements with Standard bank and Stanbic getting a mandate to raise the funds. During negotiations, the two banks quoted a combined fee of 1.4 per cent of gross proceeds raised.

In September 2012, Stanbic proposed the fee be raised to increase to 2.4 per cent, with the extra 1 per cent being paid to a ‘local partner’, a Tanzanian company called Enterprise Growth Market Advisors (EGMA).

The chairman and one of the directors of EGMA was Harry Kitilya, then TRA commissioner, while the managing director of EGMA was Dr Fratten Mboya, who was CEO of Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) between 1995 and 2011, and now deceased.

The room for conflict of interest was evident but Stanbic never addressed the issue. “It also appears that the Mr Awale and Ms Sinare intended the 1 per cent fee promised to EGMA to induce the first suspect (Harry Kitilya) and other members of the government to show favour to Stanbic and Standard Bank’s proposal.

EGMA opened a bank account with Stanbic to facilitate its activities in September 2012.”

Diamond Platinumz Being Audited Over Drug Trafficking Links

Photo: Diamond Platnumz/Facebook

Diamond Platnumz

Bongo star and Wasafi Records chief executive Diamond Platinumz was on Wednesday summoned by the Tanzania Revenue Authority to table a report on his source of wealth and a statement on his tax returns.

The award-winning singer has been on the government’s radar barely a week after he was summoned by police who charged him with driving without wearing a safety belt.

He was fined for the offence and now the revenue authority is keeping tabs on his earnings and his taxes.

The artiste is currently riding high with his latest release that features American RnB artiste Ne-Yo Marry You.

Early February, the Bongo star was summoned to appear before the country’s investigative agency in Dar es Salaam after he was listed as a suspected drug trafficker working in a network in Tanzania.

On Wednesday the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) summoned him to table a report on his source of wealth and a statement on his tax returns. Mapema leo nilipo report Makao Makuu ya TRA baada ya kuitwa ili kuelezea ni namana gani nayapata Mapato yangu na… https://t.co/rtGvHUotrH

— Chibu Dangote (@diamondplatnumz) February 22, 2017

He honoured the summons and made available the documents which were scrutinised by the officers.

TRA later handed the celebrity a clean bill of health for complying with the law.

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Revenue Authority Says Tax Law Plugs Tax Evasion Loopholes

By Lilian Lucas

Morogoro — The Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, 2014 has started biting by plugging all loopholes of tax evasion by various institutions, including some religious and public ones that were enjoying tax exemptions, it has been said.

Speaking to TRA tax experts and staff members in the region recently, Head Office Taxpayer Education Manager Diana Masala said in the past some religious institutions and organisations were misusing the law on tax exemptions, but it no longer existed. The new law was assented to on December 11, 2014 and came into force on July 1, 2015.

She added that all under agreement projects of public institutions before the new tax law came into force would not be affected.

For his part, TRA Head Office Taxpayer Education and Service Manager Gabriel Mwangosi noted that VAT was necessary to be paid just like other taxes.

Mr Mwangosi also called upon businesspeople to be transparent in their sales to avoid inconveniences that could occur once TRA inspections were conducted. He insisted that the government was a legitimate participant in any business of any businessperson, saying it was important for the businesspeople to know and comply with what the law required.

He said after verifying taxpayer identification number (TIN), the regions of Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mbeya and Dodoma had officially started being issued with new TIN certificates, while businesspeople being called upon to go to TRA offices in the relevant regions for the same exercise.

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Revenue Authority Collection Declines in January

Revenue collection declined by 274bn/- in January from the amount collected in December last year.

Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) said in a statement that collections in January reached 1.14tri/- which is down from 1.414tri/- collected in December last year. No reasons has been given for the decline in the collection. TRA said in the statement that revenue collections for January was 1.14tri/- , making the total collections for the first seven months of 2016/17 fiscal year to 8.41tri/-.

The authority had said in another statement in January that revenue collection had soared in the second half of last year to 7.27 trillion/-, up from 6.44 trillion/- in the corresponding period of the previous year. TRA is focused on collecting property tax by providing bills to landlords in different regions as well as increasing public education to all stakeholders, the statement said.

“All landlords in the country are hereby reminded that from July 2016, TRA is responsible for the collection of property tax thus advised to provide all necessary cooperation for successful accomplishment of the process,” he said.

He said December posted a record high collection of 1.414 tri/-. He said the authority and security organs have added momentum in the monitoring of all smuggled goods that entered the country.

“Several crackdowns have been conducted to check and arrest people responsible for the vice and confiscate all the goods that have been coming into the country illegally to check loss of government revenue,” he said.

Mr Kayombo also said that it is for the purpose of ensuring maximum revenue collection that TRA has encouraged the use of Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) machines and payments of property tax. “TRA continues to remind all traders registered with the Value Added Tax (VAT) to submit their monthly returns before every 20th of the month as revised in the Finance Law of 2016.

“We are still waiting for necessary instructions to implement the directive so that we could execute proper tax collection measures,” Mr Kayombo explained. Similarly, traders with outstanding tax debts to report to districts and regional TRA managers to discuss modes of payment that would not affect their businesses.

President John Magufuli had recently issued a directive to regional commissioners (RCs) and Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to allocate areas where small traders could conveniently operate.

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Tanzania: Mining Firm Acacia to Spend Millions to Clean Up Image

Tanzania’s largest mining company, Acacia, has set aside $2 million (Sh4 billion) to clean up its image and repair its relationship with the government following accusations of tax evasion and excessive profits, the South African Globe and Mail newspaper reports.

Acacia Mining, which is a subsidiary of Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp, owns three gold mines in Tanzania that include Buzwagi, Bulyanhulu and North Mara. But it has faced a growing barrage of accusations from political leaders.

“Governments, probably rightly, don’t think they’re getting a fair share of the wealth. So, we need to get smarter about how that wealth is distributed. I just think we need to look at the distribution of that wealth and how taxes are paid,” Acacia chief executive Brad Gordon told the Globe and Mail in an interview at the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town on Monday.

The $2 million will involve a branding campaign in print, radio and television advertising in Tanzania to showcase its huge investment and capital spending in the country.

The advertising is similar to the kind of campaign that a company such as Coca-Cola would launch, Mr Gordon told the Globe and Mail: “We don’t just want to be seen as a mining company. We market ourselves more like a consumer-products company.”

Barrick Gold Corp has unsuccessfully tried several times in the past to sell off Acacia, its Africa offshoot, whose mining activities are exclusively located in Tanzania. Barrick is now in talks with its Toronto-listed rival, Endeavour Mining Corp, about a potential $4 billion (Sh9 trillion) merger. The Acacia also plans to pay its taxes well ahead of its schedule to reduce tax controversies. The company has had its fair share of tax disputes with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), some of which, have ended in the courts of law.

Under agreements signed when Acacia’s predecessors first entered the country, the company was able to pay no corporate taxes in Tanzania for a 15-year period. It seemed like a good deal at the time, but now the company faces a backlash – part of the increasingly fraught relationship between African governments and the mining industry.

“There’s just no trust,” Mr Gordon told the Globe and Mail in an interview, adding “They talk about the billions of dollars that have been ripped out of the continent over a long, long time.” Asked whether the growing criticism of the industry is due to a perception problem or a justice problem, he answered: “A bit of both.”

Last year TRA accused Acacia of tax evasion saying it had failed to pay corporate tax while still paying more than $400 million (Sh840 billion) in dividends to its shareholders. The Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunal ordered Acacia to pay $41.25 million (Sh86 billion) in taxes. The company’s appeal in the High Court was dismissed on procedural grounds in October, but the company is still fighting the ruling.

To help allay the criticism of Acacia’s lack of corporate taxation, the company decided to make a goodwill gesture: It paid $20 million to the Tanzanian government in what it called a “prepayment” of taxes, before the taxes were legally required to be paid.

Revenue Authority’s 2016 Collection Soars

By Maureen Odunga

Revenue collection soared in the second half of last year to 7.27 trillion/-, up from 6.44 trillion/- in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Director of Taxpayers’ Education, Mr Richard Kayombo, told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the increase was equivalent to 12.74 per cent.

He said December posted a record high collection of 1.414 tri/-.

“The increase in tax collection has been achieved through effective collection, emphasis on diligence, improvement of payment systems and covering of all corruption loopholes The boost was also precipitated by a mixture of factors such as mineral exploitation, manufacturing and general trade, which had fluctuated from time to time,” said Mr Kayombo.

He said the authority and security organs have added momentum in the monitoring of all smuggled goods that entered the country.

“Several crackdowns have been conducted to check and arrest people responsible for the vice and confiscate all the goods that have been coming into the country illegally to check loss of government revenue,” the TRA official said.

Mr Kayombo also said that it is for the purpose of ensuring maximum revenue collection that TRA has encouraged the use of Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) machines and payments of property tax.

“TRA continues all traders registered with the Value Added Tax (VAT) to submit their monthly returns before every 20th of the month as revised in the Finance Law of 2016.

Commenting on measures taken to ensure adequate collection of taxes at food joints that issue normal receipts to passengers, especially during the festive seasons when many people are travelling, Mr Kayombo said TRA has been monitoring such places to ensure they issue EFD receipts.

“The campaign to ensure that customers are issued with EFD receipts is ongoing to ensure the government gets all due revenue.

President John Magufuli had recently issued a directive to regional commissioners (RCs) and Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to allocate areas where small traders could conveniently operate.

“We are still waiting for necessary instructions to implement the directive so that we could execute proper tax collectionmeasures,” Mr Kayombo explained.

He, however, reminded all those who have not verified their TIN numbers to do immediately to beat the January 31 deadline. Mr Kayombo pointed out that upon expiration of the deadline, no time will be extended to allow the exercise to move in the regions.

The TRA official also urged traders with outstanding tax debts to report to districts and regional TRA managers to discuss modes of payment that would not affect their businesses.

Buildings’ owners have also been reminded on the importance of “willingly paying” their property taxes to avoid legal action.

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Govt Now Disbands Cashew Fund Over Sh5 Billion Account

By Deogratius Kamagi and Aika Kimaro

Dar es Salaam/Mtwara — The government has scrapped the Cashewnut Industry Development Trust Fund (CIDTF) and disbanded its management team for operating a Sh5 billion fixed deposit account, contrary to a presidential directive.

The fund’s responsibilities were immediately shifted to the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) while the suspended managers will remain jobless for unspecified time as the government ponders their fate.

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries minister Charles Tizeba announced the decision yesterday during a press conference in which he labelled the CIDTF a “failure” since its establishment in 2010.

The fund was established to spearhead cashew nut value addition to enable growers earn more from the crop while setting the base for local processing. But Dr Tizeba said the management had not met any of the objectives for which they were appointed and accused them of also sleeping on the orders of President John Magufuli to close any fixed deposit accounts and move the money totalling Sh5 billion to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT).

“The management has been violating rules and regulations hence the failure to meet set targets and objectives which directly undermines performance of the cashew nut sub-sector,” said the minister during a press conference in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Tizeba said despite receiving enough resources, the fund’s management team failed to justify tax they levied on the crop export. The minister was incensed that the officials had resisted auditing by failing to submit financial records as required.

“Any of the achievement in the cashew nut industry is due to efforts by the ministry and the CBT. They had been reduced to only receiving export levies from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and procuring of agricultural inputs,” noted the minister.

According to him, the fund had diverged from its core functions of providing a mechanism through which stakeholders could contribute and finance shared functions for sustainable development of the cashew nut sub-sector.

Others are to assist in areas of inputs sourcing and distribution, training and extension services, supporting small and medium processors, supporting cashew research activities, strengthening the cashew marketing system and investment planning.

Dr Tizeba directed TRA Commissioner General to liaise with the CBT on the best mode of remitting the export levies. “The suspended management should not play any role or transact any business until further directives are given,” said the minister.

Meanwhile, speaking in Mtwara yesterday, CBT director general Hassan Jarufu assured farmers that the crops’ auction would continue until all the harvest is bought.

Mr Jarufu sort to quell disquiet among farmers and some companies trading in the crop that a market glut could see farmers stuck with their harvests.

“Despite signs of reduced activity, the board would want to assure farmers that the market will remain open until all their harvest is sold. Only the board will call off the auctions,” he assured.

The official said so far 216,275 tonnes of the crop had been bought from the farmers. He said the board has granted export permits for 124, 969 tonnes of the crop. India and Vietnam are the largest buyers with 57,473 tonnes and 67,496 tonnes respectively. Last season slightly over 100,000 tones were purchased.

According to Mr Jarufu, Vietnam that joined the auction this year has raised competition among marketers resulting in better prices for farmers who earned the highest pay for a kilogramme of the crop at over Sh4,000 from an average of Sh3,000 in the recent past.

However there has been concern lately that the price was dropping as the bought crop pile up in stores in the southern region over a ban on its transportation by road. Authorities in Mtwara have said the crop could only leave the area through the local port but some exporters, especially those from Vietnam have complained that the order was restrictive as vessels were inadequate.

He appealed for concerted efforts to better the services to all stakeholder in the industry. “We are all building one house and I see no need to fight over the materials,” he said.

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