Massive transformations await tax Isles regime

MASSIVE transformations await tax regime in Zanzibar under the envisaged annulment of the Zanzibar Revenue Board Act No. 7 of 1996.

Minister of State, President’s Office, Finance and Planning, Dr Saada Mkuya Salum is scheduled to table under certificate of urgency a bill to repeal the 1996 Act and enact the new law during the tenth House of Representatives’ ninth meeting that starts here this morning.

Minister Mkuya told the ‘Daily News’ in an interview that the goal is to overhaul the current law and transform ZRB into an efficient entity for effective revenue collections in the islands.

“The objective is to have the revenue collection agency that copes with the country’s contemporary demands and focus,” explained Dr Mkuya.

She said under the envisaged new Act, the government seeks to enhance ZRB efficiency and put in place appropriate tax collections in the country; “…currently there are some institutions, which collect taxes without having the legal mandate for the task…this is not proper.”

Minister Mkuya explained further: “We want to entrust ZRB with the ultimate power on all revenue collection related issues.” She said the key target is highly professional, competent and performance-based institution.

“We have been making amendments but we believe it’s high time now we totally overhaul the Act to accommodate all changes and aspirations of the current times,” said the minister.

Since President Hussein Mwinyi assumed the presidency in November 2020, great emphasis has been on optimisation of tax revenues through modernisation of systems and processes; increased efficiency and enhanced service delivery.

Under its fourth corporate plan, which lays the foundation on ZRB performance, the board focuses on key strategic areas—optimum revenue collections; improved quality of services and compliance; innovation; and high staff performance.

According to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Ms Raya Issa Msellem, besides the ZRB bill, the government will also table the bill for amendments of various Acts under certificate of urgency during the two-week session.

In her pre-session briefing on Monday, the Clerk told reporters that the lawmakers will deliberate on the two bills—Persons with Disabilities (Rights and Privileges); and amendments to the Institute of Public Administration Act—which were tabled for the first reading during the last September session.

The government wills as well table the sixth report on the implementation of the works of the Ethics Commission for the 2021/2022 financial year, said the house’s chief executive officer.

She further informed that her office has received and coordinated 138 questions to which the government will respond during this calendar year’s last session.





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