BOT accused of double standards in approval of forex shops

Saturday June 18 2022
BOT
By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam. The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) was on Friday, June 17 urged to eliminate bureaucracy and double-standard in approvals and operations of bureaux de change in the country in order to allow economic growth and stimulate businesses.

Bureaux de change, according to the argument should be left to freely operate in line with the government’s focus to stimulate economic growth after the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The BoT decision will ultimately support the government’s tourist’s attraction through the Royal Tour Documentary that has featured President Samia Suluhu Hassan as the main character.

Arusha Urban legislator Mrisho Gambo made the remarks yesterday when debating the Sh41.5 trillion 2022/23 national budget tabled on Tuesday by Finance and Planning minister Mwigulu Nchemba.

Debating the budget in Dodoma yesterday, Mr Gambo said eligible licence applicants for the bureau de change business as well as those wishing to revive their businesses should be given green light in in order to stimulate the country’s economy.

“The number of tourists is increasing in different parts of the country, particularly Arusha Region. Most hotels are fully booked until December this year,” he said.

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“This required enough and reliable bureaux de change in order to reduce or eliminate possible inconveniences to visitors,” he added.

He blamed the BoT for ignoring the government directives and of double standard that has seen applications from different eligible players being turned down.

“There are applicants who have fulfilled all the requirements to open bureau de changes, but they are not licensed on grounds that they have tax outstanding and failure to meet other conditions,” he said,

“The ongoing trend will lead to existence and mushrooming of the black market, something that will lead to a serious loss of government’s revenue,” he added.

Mr Gambo said tabling the national budget, the Finance and Planning minister underscored the importance of the business in the country’s economy, hinting, however, that Kadoo Bureau De Change was the only private company currently doing the business in the country.

“It is the only operating company in different areas especially Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Other private companies have been denied licences without concrete reasons,” said the MP.

Mr Gambo, who was former Arusha regional commissioner, expressed another concern that the business was currently associated with a number of questions to customers.

“Most of these questions are not fundamentally important, therefore, BoT should end the double standard and unnecessary bureaucracy and provide equal opportunities to all applicants provided they have met legal requirements,” he told the Budget House.

For his part, Mr Issa Mtemvu, (Kibamba-CCM) said the 10 percent loan provided by councils isn’t well disbursed to beneficiaries (Youth, Women and People with Disabilities), noting that most of them haven’t reached 50 percent of intended amount.

“Analysis should be done in the loans provisions for the last 10 years to establish the trend of disbursement and challenges associated,” he said.