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Tanzania Govt Removes 108 Levies From Farmers, Herders, Fishermen

Tanzania Govt Removes 108 Levies From Farmers, Herders, Fishermen

Farmers, pastoralists and fishermen have something to smile about after the government yesterday announced in Parliament huge relief by scrapping over 100 levies from the sector.

Tabling the 2017/18 budget estimates for the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Charles Tizeba told the House that 108 levies, which were for complained about for a long time would be removed on July 1 thus year.

According to Dr Tizeba, in the sector of agriculture alone out of the existing 139 levies, 80 have been scrapped; 23 and five levies currently charged on livestock and fisheries sectors respectively will also be scraped.

The decision, according to the minister, is meant to reduce a heavy burden of numerous taxes that farmers and traders are subjected to, which at the end leads to high prices of products and agricultural inputs.

"It is the government's plan to ensure all levies and fees that were nuisances to farmers, pastoralists and fishermen are removed and they make the most of their hard labour. Only few levies with a direct connection to the growth of the sectors will be allowed," said Dr Tizeba.

In agriculture, for instance, the government will do away with 17 coffee levies, 16 in sugar and two in cotton. A total of 20 fees charged by the Tanzania Cooperative Development Commission have also been scrapped.

"For tobacco, some of the scrapped levies are licence for buying flue-cured tobacco (VFC) at factory level ($4,000), licence to buy Dark Fire Cured tobacco (DFC) ($4,000), export licence ($4,000), licence to buy VCF in district level ($3,500), a licence application form ($100), and Tobacco Council Fee of $0.001 per kilo," said the minister.

In coffee, some of the scrapped levies are licence to sell coffee outside the country ($1,000), and parchment dry cherry coffee buying licence ($1,000) and coffee processing licence ($250).

On meat subsector, the minister announced scrapping of four levies, including registration fee for pastoralists Sh75, 000 for large pastoralists, Sh50,000 for middle pstoralists and Sh15,000 for small pastoralists. An export clearance certificate of livestock charged at Sh50,000 for one cattle and S10,000 for a goat and sheep has also been scrapped.

In the milk subsector, two levies have been scrapped, while in livestock health services 17 levies are gone.

For fisheries, the government scrapped the Sh200,000 registration fees for small fishermen using under 11 metre-long fishing boats, movement permit (Sh5,000 for 101-1000kg, Sh10,000 for 1001-5000kg, Sh30,000 for 5001-9999kg and Sh50,000 for 10,000kg and above) and sanitary certificate for fisheries products Sh30,000. The minister, however, announced an increase in fee for approval for fish processing factories from Sh100,000 to Sh400,000.

"I want to assure the Parliament that the government will continue scrutinising other remaining levies and fees and see whether they have the legitimacy to continue existing," promised Dr Tizeba.

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