Dar es Salaam. Operators of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) want the government to increase the Agriculture budget while at the same time looking into setting indicative prices for clearing goods out of Customs control.
Stakeholders who spoke to The Citizen yesterday said the current valuation system for customs duty - especially for goods other than cars, leave a lot to be desired.
Tanzania Business Community general secretary Abdallah Mwinyi said the Customs commissioner had the discretion in valuation of goods to determine the duty payable.
He noted that even if a business person shows a receipt for the goods purchased, the system will still want to value the goods and come up with fresh valuation.
“This is not a good option. We have raised our concerns several times, but to no avail. This system creates a loophole for corruption as businesses are sometimes compelled to negotiate with officials so that they can pay at affordable rates,” he said.
However, he noted that it was different for cars which had a tax calculator that immediately tracked the valuation when put into the system thereby giving the person purchasing the vehicle the opportunity to make an informed decision on whether to buy or not.
“If you want to purchase a vehicle, the tax calculator will give you the value of the car and its customs payment according to the Tanzania Revenue Authority,” he said.
For farmers, the national farmers organisation which brings together small holder farmers from all regions of Tanzania (Mviwata) executive director, Mr Stephen Ruvuga, said generally their expectation is that budget share for agriculture; at the national and local government, will increase substantially.
He said other than that they also expect improvement of rural roads for improving marketing of commodities.
“Improved rural roads will benefit more small farmers and most importantly the rural roads can play a role in facilitating the movements of goods thereby creating new market opportunities for small-scale farmers, “he said.
Further he said they expect the government to put up support to agricultural marketing systems. In order to improve production, farmers need access to financial capital.
“We also expect a decrease in crop levies and better reinforcement, “he said.
They also expect a budget at the district level for farmers’ seeds multiplication for cooperatives and farmers’ groups.