Govt demands foreign currency from exported minerals

THE government has called upon mineral traders to ensure exported minerals earn the country foreign currencies, issuing a stern warning against unfaithful dealers.

Minerals Minister Dr Dotto Biteko said the government will deal accordingly with deceitful dealers in an effort to promote the growth of the mineral sector and increase foreign currency flow to the country.

Minister Biteko said despite the sector’s increased contribution to the country’s economy, the government has noticed several tricks used by dealers which deny the government a lot of money in forex.

Speaking here on Wednesday during a meeting with the dealers, Dr Biteko said it had come to the government’s attention that mineral dealers in the country sell abroad in foreign currencies but deposit shillings in the local banks.

“The trend is against the Mining Act and regulations which state dealers or sellers who sell minerals in foreign currencies must deposit foreign currencies in the local banks,” said Dr Biteko.

With the current situation where there is a dollar crisis in the world, he said the mining sector should be at the forefront to ensure the country has a strong dollar reserve for purchasing medicines and other items needed for economic growth.

“The government depends a lot on exports that earn the country foreign currencies, needful in buying goods and services outside the country,” he insisted.

He added that unlike in some countries, Tanzania has allowed any willing and capable persons to participate in mining business and investments, but it is unfortunate that some people are not willing to comply with laws and regulations.

He called on the dealers to support President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s efforts to reform the sector by adhering to the law.

During the meeting, a 9-member team was formed to investigate the dealings, trading of all the mineral dealers and establish a number of issues, among them, if they remit back money in the country in Local currencies.

The ministry, he said, conducted an extensive audit that has helped reduce the number of dealers from 700 in 2022 to 150 in 2023 by delisting those who do not qualify to provide the service.

On his part, deputy chairperson of the Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (TAMIDA), Mr Leopald Kimaro, said there were several issues that needed to be addressed by the government in supporting operations of the dealers.

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