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Excise duty review may delay 70bn/- TBL investment

Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL)’s plan to set up the largest plant in Dodoma at $30m (about 70bn/-) could be delayed by the government to revisit excise duty on alcohol beverage.

The country's largest brewing company announced its plan to set up the largest plant that could generate at least 100bn/- in value added tax and excise duty to the government, but the plan is likely to be delayed pending the government's decision on revisiting the excise duty.

Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Ministry of Finance and Planning are yet to issue any official statement, but Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe said the government was working on a tax dispute to allow the investment to take off in the region.

"We are doing well in negotiations to review the excise duty on alcohol beverage," he said in Dodoma during a stakeholders' forum organised by the Ministry of Agriculture to revive wheat farming in the country.

TBL representative Avito Swai said the firm had applied for a revision of excise duty imposed on alcoholic drinks produced from local grains and fruits to be taxed differently with drinks produced locally with imported grains.

"We suggest excise duty to be charged separately - drinks produced from local grains and drinks locally produced from imported grains," he said. TBL said it had planned to buy at least 10,000 tonnes of millet and 5,000 additional tonnes of barley.

The plant planned for Dodoma is also expected to convert barley into malt, according to Mr Swai.

Mr Bashe stressed that his ministry would consult the Ministry of Finance and Planning to ensure the investment took off as soon as possible.

He was optimistic that the investment would help create jobs and more markets.

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