FINANCE and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango yesterday tabled the 2019/2020 national budget that focuses on continued efforts to build foundations for the industrial economy as well as stimulating economic growth.
The 33.1tri/- budget further provides a sigh of relief to majority Tanzanians and businesspeople intending to invest in the country. However, as usual when the budget is tabled, there is always a room for losers and winners.
For example, motorists and drivers the government proposed amendments in the Road Traffic Act to extend the validity period for drivers licence from three to five years.
But, Dr Mpango told the National Assembly that the government intends to increase the driving licence fee from 40,000/- to 70,000/-.Also, Dr Mpango added, the government will in the next financial year increase the registration card fee for all forms of motor vehicles from 10,000/- to 50,000/- and motorcycles from 10,000/- to 30,000/-, while the tricycles fee will double from 10,000/- to 20,000/-.
“These measures are intended to reduce costs related to issuance of drivers licence as they can last for five years against the current validity period of three years,’’ he said. What appears as bad news to women, the government will in the next financial year amend the Exercise (Management and Tariff) Act to impose exercise duty of 10 per cent on locally made artificial hair and 25 percent on imports, to increase the government’s revenues.
The minister also proposed to introduce new procedures for clearing and forwarding of goods whereby individuals will be allowed to clear their goods without necessarily assigning this responsibility to the clearing and forwarding agents.
“However, these procedures will not apply on transit goods and the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will prepare guidelines and procedures that are simple and clear for the people to understand and facilitate smooth clearing of goods,” he said.
The budget, the fourth since President John Magufuli assumed the country’s top office, considered poor Tanzanians, with the government proposing to impose an import duty of 35 per cent on sugar. According to Dr Mpango, the product is imported under special arrangements to cover the shortage in the domestic market.
“The intended objective is to protect domestic industries, employment and increase government revenues, ’’ added the minister.
What appears to be also good news, the government will from the next fiscal year abolish Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption on sanitary pads because the measure could not facilitate availability of this essential product to the intended beneficiaries at reasonable price but instead the benefits have gone to the traders.