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Bus owners lose close to Sh200bn annually in physical tickets, TRA reports

Sunday November 29 2020
buses pic

TRA commissioner general, Dr Edwin Mhede,

By Alfred Zacharia

Dar es Salaam. Bus owners lose up to 30 percent of daily revenues due to use of physical tickets, a Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) report reveals.

Results from a five-month survey by the TRA show that the bus owners fail to collect (lose) at least Sh195.6 billion annually in paper-based ticket systems.

TRA commissioner general, Dr Edwin Mhede, said on Friday during a meeting with the bus owners, that they used five bus companies as samples and discovered that they have been losing at least Sh67 million per day and Sh24.4 billion annually.

“We took the sample of the loss from the selected buses and calculate with the existing 4500 buses. We realised that they (bus owners) lose between 27 to 30 percent of the revenue,” he noted, adding that he was not aware how and where the money went.

He, however, said that the lost revenues can be recovered by using e-ticketing, a system that provides bus tickets through online platforms.

Last year, the government, through former Works, Transport and Communications minister Mr Isack Kamwelwe, introduce electronic ticketing as a way of preventing unwarranted fare hikes during the festive season and also in an effort to help the TRA collect its rightful amount in tax from transport proceeds.

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“The new ticketing system will control the whole purchasing process of tickets, making sure that the money goes to the right destinations,” he said. He believes that the new ticketing system will also boost tax and charges collections.

“Our evaluations show that taxes and charges collections will increase to Sh38 billion, up from Sh20 billions of which the taxman collected from upcountry bus transport during the 2019/20 fiscal year,” he noted.

Director General of Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Latra) Gilliard Ngewe said when the use of e-ticketing system commences, the authority will no longer provide license to bus owners who are not connected to the system.

“With the e-ticket system, conductors and drivers will not be allowed to provide paper-based tickets. This will simplify the process of people accessing the tickets and the fare prices can be easily controlled,” he said.

Chairman of Tanzania Bus Owners Association (Taboa) Mr Abdullah Mohamed said there are some bottlenecks that need to be dealt with.

“Our talks with the government today meant to get clarifications and create understanding on how the system will be operating and how it affects both sides,” he said.

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