Finance Bill 2024 hearing kicks off today

DAR ES SALAAM: THREE-DAY public hearing on the Finance Bill for 2024 begins today at Pius Msekwa Hall in the National Assembly in Dodoma.

The bill, submitted in Parliament for first hearing on Thursday, seeks to impose and alter certain taxes, duties, levies, fees and to amend certain written laws relating to collection and management of public revenues as proposed in the government budged for 2024/2025 financial year.

The government has proposed an 11.2 per cent increase in overall government spending to 49.35tri/- in the next financial year, up from 44.39tri/- in the current year to finance strategic energy, transport and water infrastructure as well as preparations for the forthcoming Local government elections later this year and general elections next year.

The money is also projected to finance preparations for hosting the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in 2027 as Tanzania is one of countries chosen to host the tournament.

The government has projected to collect 34.6tri/- as domestic revenue, accounting to 70.1 per cent of the budget, where 29.4tri/- will be tax revenue and 5.2tri/- non-tax revenue.

Proposed measures to increase revenues include additional import taxes including an increase of Railway Development Levy up to 2 per cent and a new 10 per cent “Industrial Development Levy” to be charged on certain imports (other than from the EAC) including beer and energy drinks.

The government has proposed excise duty changes including 10 per cent duty on betting stakes (to help fund the National Health Insurance Fund, which will also be funded by an allocation of 2 per cent of excise collections from soft drinks, cosmetics and alcohol).

There is also a 10 per cent duty on advertisement fees, and the extension of excise duty to chilli sauce, mango pickle and tomato sauce.

The government proposes also further measures to tax the digital economy including digital content creation and digital asset transactions.

Other key changes proposed in the budget is the planned introduction of zero rate Value Added Tax (VAT) on gold supplied to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to incentivise supply of gold, thus increase the country’s foreign currency reserve and reduce shortage of US dollars.

The government has also proposed legal amendments to empower National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to buy, stock and reserve sugar as a national food reserve and be supplied in the domestic market during shortages.

It has also proposed fuel levy extension to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) used in motor vehicles (382/- per 1kg), Electrical motor vehicles to be subject to the registration and payment of registration fees.

The government also proposed amendment of the Export Levy Act, CAP 196 by introducing export levy at the rate of 10 per cent on Crude Sunflower Oil, Sunflower Cake and Sunflower seeds.

It also plans to charge Tourist Business Licence fee in local currency, instead of using US Dollar from the next financial year.

These proposed measures go hand in hand with the requirement of the fees to be paid for a period of 12 months from the last day of the execution of the final payment for the business licence.

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The government plans also to reduce the fee of Tanzanian Tourist Business Licence which is paid by an agent of the mountain climbing from 2,000 US dollars per annum(5.2m/-) to 3m/- per annum, he said.

The minister said the measures intend to simplify the payments of tourism fees, reducing operational costs, attracting investment in the tourist industry and to comply with the requirement of Section 26 of the law establishing the Central Bank of Tanzania, which requires payments within the country to be made in local currency.

The government is also proposing Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption on importation of Video Assistant Referee equipment and accessories.

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