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Top government officials meet in Zanzibar over budget preps

Unguja. With the clock ticking closer to the national budget presentation day on June 15, 2023, senior officials from the ministries of Finance for both governments have camped here to deliberate on issues such as taxation, policy and the general economy.

The discussion is also centred on improving the business climate to attract investors in Tanzania.

Zanzibar Minister of Finance, Dr Saada Mkuya said yesterday that the meeting look at areas that will improve the ease of doing business between the two sides of the United Republic of Tanzania.

“As we know businessmen from mainland Tanzania come to Zanzibar to do business, some from Zanzibar go to mainland Tanzania but there are things that often cause distress, so this meeting aims at providing solutions,” said Dr Mkuya.

According to the minister, issues such as the value addition tax (VAT) and double taxation, especially from small enterprises were among prevalent challenges among businesses.

“As we expect to table the main budgets of the Government, the great desire of Tanzanians is to hear about the tax areas, how taxes will be made easier and how both governments can create a better tax environment,” said Dr Mkuya.

Minister of Finance and Planning of mainland Tanzania, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba said the issues discussed during the meeting are fundamental in doing business for both sides of the Union.

He said it would be critical to discuss how the issues affect both corporate and retail businesses.

“We will also talk about the movement of goods and people from one side of the Union to the other, and other issues that involve governance in the management of financial and tax policies,” said Dr Nchemba.

A trader in Zanzibar, Mr Khamis Mfaume, said there are many challenges that have been a concern when doing business between the sides including double taxation of goods that go Tanzania mainland from Zanzibar or vice versa.

“This thing is there and it is being protested for a long time and the issue of difficulty in exporting goods to Tanzania mainland from Zanzibar,” he said.

Ms Thawaiba Ali said if the challenges are successfully resolved, it will not only bring efficiency to businessmen but also increase government revenue

She said: “It is easier to take a car from Zanzibar to Kenya than to take it to mainland Tanzania.”

Source: The Citizen