A month after the delivery of his National Budget 2021/22 speech, we welcomed Finance and Planning minister Dr. Mwigulu Nchemba as keynote speaker during the members’ meeting held in July. Beyond reiterating the government’s commitment to offer incentives that will attract investment and form new avenues for expanding the tax base to support national economic growth, the minister shared further insights on some of the proposed line items presented within the budget.
A hotly debated topic sweeping across the country during this time was the newly introduced “Patriotism Levy”, to add a charge on mobile money transactions. Whilst the intention of the tax on mobile money transfers aimed to widen the tax base, this move has had adverse implications on driving financial inclusion. However, following consultations with the Private Sector, it is encouraging to note these levy rates were swiftly revisited and adjustments implemented accordingly. There are significant adjustments to the national budget, which aim to improve the investment climate and offer relief to businesses, including various VAT exemptions, reduction of excise duty rates, remission of import duty on some raw materials and amendments to the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004. It is encouraging to note the Government’s recognition that joint efforts are tantamount in driving the country’s economic growth and prosperity. “Without new forms of production, you will rarely find new avenues for taxes,” said Dr. Mwigulu during the July CEOrt member engagement. As business leaders, we echo this sentiment and look forward to enhanced collaboration to deliver on Tanzania’s five-year development goals.