ZANZIBAR has recorded considerably high revenue collection in recent years, but President Ali Mohamed Shein wants to see tax collectors putting up more efforts and plug existing loopholes.
Monthly revenue collection has reached 65.7bn/ from 13.5bn/ in 2010 when the current regime got into office, with the economy of Zanzibar also performing impressively, with a 7.1 per cent growth rate as of last year.
This has enabled the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to use its own sources to finance a number of strategic development programmes, thus reducing reliance on foreign donors.
Nevertheless, Dr Shein believes there is still room for improvement in terms of revenue collections, since some unscrupulous businessmen still don’t meet their tax obligations.
“There are still many businessmen who don’t pay taxes, all governments across the world are run through taxes,” said Dr Shein as he urged tax bodies to enhance tax collections.
He emphasized on the importance of paying due government taxes and issuance of receipts, noting that without issuing or demanding for receipts for goods and services, the government ends up losing substantial revenues.
Dr Shein said his government was also taking great efforts to control inflation, and as a result, the Isles’ inflation rate has gone down from 18 per cent when he took office to a single digit, with the prices of essential goods kept at affordable rates.
According to official reports, inflation rate stood at 4.5 per cent in September, rising by 2.2 per cent from the previous month.
The Zanzibar president expressed dismay that some greedy businessmen were occasionally hiking prices while others smuggled them, but warned them that the government will keep taking measures against the culprits in order to ensure that Zanzibaris, especially the poor, live comfortably.
One of the milestone achievements of the seventh phase government under Dr Shein, has been improvement of healthcare services, where the Isles’ Head of State insisted that citizens must receive free of charge medical services at government facilities.
He issued a warning to medical professionals whowill fail to implement the government policy of healthcare provision, including free screening and medication, and directed the ministry of health to make a close follow up on its implementation and take stern measures against those who will not comply with the directive, saying they should be charged for economic crimes.
Dr Shein also spoke on the government’s plans to improve water supply in all parts of the Indian Ocean semiautonomous archipelago, expressing optimism that water shortages will be history come end of next year.