Cess on timber irks forestry stakeholders

DELEGATES of the ministerial public-private sectors consultation meeting concluded on Wednesday this week during which stakeholders expressed disappointment over continued five per cent cess on timber imposed by district councils contrary to central government’s declared cess of three percent.

In its resolution, the meeting called on the government “to inform in writing all district councils the changes made by central government to that effect”.

It suggested that the councils should stop charging 200/- on each piece of timber irrespective of size while the owner of the same timber has paid 3 per cent in royalty and 3 per cent paid to the Tanzania Forest Fund.

The meeting, organised by the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), also called for review of GN 59 in order to reduce costs (royalty) of buying trees and streamline costs currently enforced.

The meeting said the TFS increased the cost of a tree based on Diameter at Breast Height.

The meeting also emphasised on upholding of business morals on the part of the private sector, saying the self-regulatory initiative in doing business should be respected and applied.

Another resolution called upon the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to look for and unearth local and foreign markets in order to make forestry products business competitive.

Part of the money held by the Tanzania Forest Fund, a resolution reads, should be used to start a special bank to promote investment and business in forestry products.

The stakeholders also called for the establishment of industrial parks in each district council in order to promote and increase engineered wood products.

The meeting supported the idea of establishing an annual week fair on forestry products.  The first proposed 7-day fair will be held in Dodoma capital later this year.

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