EDITORIAL: Countinue rationalising tax regime for growth

Friday May 24 2019

On May 7 this year, the President John Magufuli government – acting through the Health ministry – scrapped 16 charges and reduced 23 fees on investments in Tanzania’s pharmaceutical industry.

On May 21 (exactly a fortnight later to the day), the very same government – this time acting through the Livestock and Fisheries ministry – announced the scrapping of ten assorted fees and charges on the production, transportation and marketing of milk, meat and fish products. Both categorical announcements were made in Parliament in the Dodoma during the ongoing government budget session for the 2019/20 financial year commencing on July 1, 2019.

The main objective of scrapping and reducing the charges is to attract functional investments in the country’s pharmaceutical, meat and fisheries sectors of the economy. These are all cross-cutting issues which are interactive to the point of being integrative. This is in terms of all-inclusive socio-economic development, as pharmaceuticals, fishes, meats and dairy products are crucial to a healthy mind and body... And, there can never be a healthy economy without a healthy population.

As US statesman Benjamin Franklin said in 1789, death and taxes are as certain as they are inevitable. But taxation regimes must be transparent and equitable/non-exorbitant if they are to attract beneficial and sustainable investments.

It is indeed from these that nations prosper through industrialization, as well as savings made from reduced imports; jobs creation; respectable incomes; reduced prices of products and services, decent living. Tanzania is home to the third-largest livestock herds in Africa after Ethiopia and Sudan. It also has great, yet-to-be-fully-tapped fisheries potential. We indeed do have potential resources to develop Tanzania into a semi-industrialised middle-income economy by 2025.