Govt boosts revenues in livestock, fisheries

22May 2019
Polycarp Machira
DODOMA
The Guardian
Govt boosts revenues in livestock, fisheries

THE government was losing an average of 2bn/- per month from smuggling of livestock and related products as well as illegal fishing, the minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina told the National Assembly yesterday.

He told the lawmakers that the government managed to collect 3.1bn/- per month between October and December, 2018 following the famous ‘Operation Nzagamba.’

Tabling the 2019/20 ministerial budget estimates, the minister said before the operation that saw a big number of livestock and their products confiscated, the ministry’s revenues averaged 1.1bn/- per month between July and September 2018.

“The increased revenue collection indicates that without intensive control, the government was losing on average two billion shillings per month,” said the minister, noting that the operation was vastly successful.

The aim of the much derided operation was to increase government revenue, protect industries and local production, making the livestock sub-sector a level playing field for competition in doing business.

Other objectives were were to protect consumers, accelerate investment in the livestock sector where many industries are currently being established and ensure good prices, a reliable market and adherence to existing laws.

On the performance of the ministry during 2018/19, he said through the fishing sector, the ministry planned to collect 21.5bn/- but by 15th May, 2019 it had collected 30.3bn/-, equivalent to 140.8 percent achievement.

He said the amount was collected from different sources including export licences, import licences, export royalty and import royalty.

On the same note, the minister noted that projected revenue collection through the sector in the 2019/20 is set at 32.3bn/-, its main sources unchanged from fiscal 2018/19.

He asked the legislature to approve 64.9bn/-- for the 2019/20 financial year whereby 31.7bn/- is for the livestock sector and 33.1bn/- is meant for the fisheries sector.

Tabling views of the parliamentary committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Water, chairperson Mahmoud Mgimwa (Mufindi North CCM) said the government has not fully exploited opportunities in the fishing sector to increase its contribution to the national economy.

“This is an indication that the government does not consider the sector as among its priority sectors for increasing revenues,” he said, underlining that in the drive for industrial development, a lot of raw materials are found in the sector.

Like other ministries, the development budget for this ministry has not been disbursed as per budgetary allocations and even where some money was sent, it was too late.

The trend derails development projects in the ministry, he asserted, urging the government to change its tactics.

The committee also observed that livestock and fisheries are among key sectors that contribute immensely to national economic growth, earning the country plenty of foreign exchange.

He called on the government to look into how to improve the two sectors as they are pivotal in creating employment among the people.

The Shadow Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Sware Semesi (Special Seats, Chadema), tabling the opposition camp’s views, stated that the government ought to tap into big opportunities in the two sectors.

The opposition camp also urged the government to put in place strategies to deal with effects of climate change that impact on the two sectors.

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