THE Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) has described the budget tabled last week as balanced and positive and expressed their commitments and support towards the government’s vision of attaining vibrant economic growth as stated in the 2021-2026 Five- Year Development Plan.
Speaking with reporters in Dar es Salaam on Monday, the CTI Chairman, Mr Paul Makanza, said that they were optimistic that the 2021/2022 budget if executed properly would significantly support the initiatives taken by the government to build a sustainable industrial economy.
“(The) CTI is committed to continuing working hand in hand with the Sixth Phase Government to achieve the set social-economic goals,” he said.
The Chairman said that the CTI applauded the government decision for reforms to tax structure, fees, levies and other revenue measures as indicated in the budget.
According to him, such measures would enable domestic industries to reduce the cost of production, improve consumer welfare, promote the use of local materials, enhance competitiveness and stimulate economic growth.
Mr Makanza, thus, thanked the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba and the government in general for the balanced budget and for taking such positive steps.
Some of the areas where tax reform measures are taken, in particular on employment taxes, include reduction of PAYE rate to eight per cent from nine per cent for the lowest taxable band, increase in employees’ threshold and reduction of rate for Workers Compensation Fund from one to 0.6 per cent.
On Value Added Tax (VAT), there is the abolition of VAT on imported precious metals and raw materials to allow more importation for refining and smelting by local industries; abolish VAT on cans for preserving milk and amend VAT Act to restore VAT refund for goods purchased in Mainland and utilized in Zanzibar.
Another area is on excise duty, where the government in the budget is maintaining specific excise duty rates for all non-petroleum products like soft drinks, cigarettes, beer, wine, among others and reduction of excise duty on local beer manufactured using locally grown malt barley from 765/- to 620/- per litre.
The Chairman further pointed out that the CTI and their members congratulated the government for the alignment with Blueprint for Regulatory Reforms 2017 by introducing a single window for investors to process all permits and licenses required for their business electronically.
He was, however, quick to point out a few areas that require further government consideration, in particular, those whose levies have been increased. Mr Makanza was of the views that if not well addressed could negatively impact industrial development in the country.
“We will continue to negotiate with the government on the areas where tariffs have been increased to reduce production costs. We believe our government will listen, as such matters can be brought to the table for discussion,” said the CTI Chairman.
He named some of such areas as reduction of valuation of imported printed fabrics (Vitenge) between 0.55 US dollars to one for a meter of polyester Kitenge and 0.60 US dollars to one for ammeter of Cotton Kitenge, which would affect the performance of textile industries in the country.
Mr Makanza pointed out that such a reduction would discourage further investment in the textile sector.
Another area is to increase excise duty by 30 per cent on all spirits to balance the tax rates between spirits and beer, thus affecting industries in the country. He named another area and continued to grant stay application of EAC CET rate of 10 or 25 per cent and apply 35 per cent for one year on semi-refined and refined vegetable oils.
According to him, the edible oils industries are highly affected by the increase of import duty. Tabling the government budget for the 2021/2022 fiscal year in the capital city of Dodoma last Thursday, Dr Nchemba said that a total of 36.4 trillion/- would be mobilized and spent.
The total domestic revenue is estimated at 24.07 trillion/-, equivalent to 69 per cent of the total budget.