‘Remove royalties, levies on fisheries, livestock products’

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 08:54 AM May 16 2024
Tilapia fishes
Photo: Flle
Tilapia fishes

MEMBERS of Parliament yesterday raised concern over a chain of royalties and levies on fisheries and livestock products, saying they are a nuisance and should be removed to enable the two sectors to grow.

Ng’wasi Kamani (Special Seats-Youth), representing the chairman of the Industries, Trade, Agriculture and Livestock standing committee of the National Assembly, said on Tuesday that the chain of royalties and levies derail efforts aimed at improving the welfare of fishermen and their families.

She made this appeal in reaction to the ministry’s budget proposals for fiscal 2024/2025 tabled by the Livestock and Fisheries minister, Abdallah Ulega, referring to earlier cuts on royalties and levies on fisheries products.

This would enable the sector to improve the welfare of those in that occupation, making a better contribution to economic growth, she stated, while a ministerial official remarked that President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s resolve to transform the fisheries industry could be frustrated by the chain of royalties and levies.

The fisheries industry could be promoted through the reduction of royalties, he said, noting that some of the levies are imposed on fishing nets, making it difficult for fishermen to purchase them.

“The resources are there but the government should take measures to reduce the cost of fishing,” he asserted, affirming that other export royalties are imposed on Nile perch, squid, cuttle fish, octopus, prawns head-on and prawns head-less.

The fisheries industry welcomed President Samia’s procuring of fishing boats for artisanal fishermen and the provision of cages for aquaculture, he said, asking that the government provides bigger fishing boats that can optimally exploit the territorial sea.

The government should allow trawling in the deeper parts of the territorial sea where small artisanal fishermen cannot fish, he stated.

In his budget estimates presentation remarks, the minister said the government will empower fishermen by acquiring 450 fishing boats and tools using funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended credit facility.