Samia issues directives on CAG, PCCB reports

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has issued several directives to government executives and institutions, with chief being integration of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) systems to prevent revenue leakage.

She issued the directives in response to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) performance report and Controller and Auditor General (CAG) audit reports for 2021/2022 fiscal year.

The reports were presented to her at the State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday, at an event that was attended by representatives from Parliamentary Committees and other top government officials.

Dr Samia said that it was vital for TPA to solicit assistance from the private sector in enhancing their system and transferring technology on mutually agreed terms so that they could achieve their goals.

“The port is one of the areas where TRA generates greater revenue, but because its systems are not integrated, the government suffers a loss.

“To increase the efficiency and efficacy of the system in tax collection, TRA and TPA must ensure that their systems are integrated. It is past time to act,” she said, adding that this is not the first time such a directive has been issued.

Dr Samia also stated that it is critical to strengthen port systems and technology because it is a major gateway with revenue that can contribute up to half of the national budget.

On Council funds, she stated that there was a significant loss of money and reports indicate that after retirement or dismissal, people leave with a Point of Sale (POS) machine and councils end up collecting revenue however they see fit, stating that it was past time to review the system.

“The tendency of Councils to use collected revenue before depositing to the bank has been a normal practice,” she said. “The Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments) should work on this and this practice must end,” said Dr Samia.

She also stated that councils should begin using Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFD) because councils believe they are not involved in the use of EFD in their areas as they consider it as the responsibility of TRA, but there are also government institutions that make purchases without requesting EFD receipts. “This must change,” she said.

President Samia stated that because the PCCB and CAG have a closer relationship, they should find a system that they can both use in their investigations to ensure that the reports issued are dealt with on time, otherwise people will continue to waste money.

She also directed the Treasury to manage all organisations that are required to pay withholding tax and ensure that they do so, stating that “the government becomes stricter with the private sector if they do not pay the tax, but we ourselves are not a good example.”

Regarding the poor performance of some government organisations, she pointed out that Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL) should reconsider the telephone business because they have failed to deliver the expected results.

“To be honest, TTCL has failed; they should run another business or manage other telecommunication companies. They should focus on managing the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) because it is their responsibility and you should focus on other areas,” Dr Samia said.

President Samia also addressed the shortfalls in interest-free loans derived from the Council’s internal revenue, directing that the system be changed and financial institutions involved in loan issuance in the next fiscal year.

She said Councils in the country must set aside 10 per cent of their internal revenues for interest-free loans based on a defined scale, with women and youth receiving 4 per cent each and People with Disabilities (PWDs) receiving 2 per cent.

“So far, 88 billion/- has been issued to various groups across the country, but none of it has been repaid, owing to the fact that the groups that lend the money do not even exist and some of them believe that their Councillors gave them the money as a gift, so there is no need to refund.

“This approach of using Councils will not bear fruit at all; the correct approach here is to use the bank where this money should be collected, every council should be accounted for and for that year 10 per cent of it should be sent to the bank for the groups to borrow from there,” she explained.

Tabling the committee suggestions on budget estimates for the Ministry of State in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government budget estimates for 2022/2023, the Committee’s Vice-Chairperson, Dennis Londo, said reports on the use of such funds vary.

He said it was high time the government prepares a special expenditure report based on the 10 per cent revenue as well as develop an online portal to track the loans.

“The report shall show the loans granted and repaid, and the amount spent on management for each Council from 2018 to 2022,” he noted.

Related Articles

Back to top button