Dodoma. The government has been urged to open up Tanzania’s borders to allow interstate trade across the East African region and increase revenue collection instead of depending on the same sources of revenue every year.
Currently, the government is still reluctant to open up Tanzania’s borders despite the fact that it has signed the East Africa Customs Union Protocol. This has made the country collect inadequate revenue.
Contributing to the 2012/13 Budget estimates in Parliament, Kibondo MP (NCCR-Mageuzi) Mr Felix Mkosamali said the government had been failing to meet its revenue collection targets by prohibiting interstate trade as it had been with other East African countries. “Interstate trade is a good source of government revenue. Prohibiting or creating unfriendly conditions for doing business with neighbouring countries impacts negatively on our economy,” said Mkosamali.
He noted that although other neighbouring countries like Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya had started implementing the East African Customs Union Protocol, Tanzania had been reluctant to allow the free movement of goods and services in the bloc.
This follows the current state that the government has restricted some cross-country business activities, which has led the government to continue maintaining the same sources of revenue like alcohol, soft drinks, cigarettes and telephone companies, among others.
Under the East Africa Common Market Protocol, the East African countries have agreed to eliminate all barriers to trade, harmonise standards of goods and implement a common trade policy that, according to Mr Mkosamali, the country has not implemented effectively to help the government and its citizens benefit from it.