MINERAL-RICH Arusha Region has launched Mineral Trading Centre, with the Government issuing a month ultimatum to Tanzanite and other mineral traders to make use of the centre at the city.
The Minister for Minerals, Mr Dotto Biteko, said all minerals’ businesses should be conducted and pass at the centre so that the government gets its fair revenue, however, he also directed that all traders in the chain to get permits especially transporters.
In his speech during the launch of the centre here, Mr Biteko said that the Centre, along with Mirerani Wall that was constructed by the order of President John Magufuli, would highly increase income for the government and that fact is being seen, adding that the mining business would now be properly regulated.
He said that with the construction of the wall, quantity of Tanzanite has sharply increased, further noting that the new system would not only benefit the government, but also miners and dealers who are willing to adhere to the laws of the land.
The minister said that their objective is to see into it that the sector contributes more to the GDP, given the fact that Tanzania is endowed with a lot and different types of minerals, which should benefit the country and its people, instead of only a small section of individuals or foreigners.
He said that after changing of the mining law as well as putting in place different regulations and guidance, the mining sector’s contribution to the government coffers has risen from 3.5 percent to 5.07 and was optimistic that once the laws are fully adhered to, it will further rise.
On his side, the Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals Chairman, Mr Dunstan Kitandula called upon the miners, dealers and all stakeholders in the sector to ensure that the law is obeyed and that they do business in conducive environment.
However, Chairman of presidential committee to investigate and establish the amount of minerals, its value and amount contained in mineral sand exported abroad, Professor Abdulkarim Mruma said stakeholders should respect the government and ensure that they pay their required taxes.
Meanwhile earlier in his report, Northern Zone Minerals Officer, Mr Erick Robert, said that Arusha Region has issued licenses to 784 small scale miners, four middle scale miners and 42 prospecting licenses.
He said that the region has 97 big businesspersons in the business with 291 small ones who have paid for their licenses and hence recognized by his office.
He further said that records show that since July last year to June 13th this year minerals worth 21bn/- have been sold with the government getting 764m/- out of it, besides guaranteeing its inspection fees of 208m/-.