Tanzania: End Sugar Smuggling, PM Orders Ministries

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Dodoma — Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed the ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in addition to the ministry of Agriculture to instantly finish the problem of sugar smuggling.

He additionally urged state organs to provide the much-needed cooperation to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and the Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT) within the fight against the vice.

The directive was issued yesterday right here within the House because the Premier was suspending the 12th assembly of the 11th Parliament, to November 6, 2018.

In the current parliamentary assembly, Mr Majaliwa stated, the difficulty of sugar smuggling emerged, with some unscrupulous merchants stated to have been illegally flooding the market with a less expensive product.

“As a matter of fact, I need the responsible authorities to do all in their power to make the problem, a thing of the past,” stated Mr Majaliwa.

“We need to create a fair playing ground for businesses for the prosperity of our local industries. This is only possible if we control smuggling.” The 4 local main sugar companies are Mtibwa Sugar Estates, Kagera Sugar Ltd, Kilombero Sugar and TPC Ltd.

Mr Majaliwa’s order comes exhausting on the heels of final week’s heated debate throughout the Question and Answer session within the House over the place of the government in addressing smuggling.

Nkenge MP Diodorus Kamala (CCM) raised the difficulty, asking what efforts the government was putting in to finish the problem of sugar smuggling.

Mr Kamala lamented that smuggled sugar was threatening the survival of local sugar producers.

He was seconded by Mpwapa MP George Lubeleje (CCM) who stated some producers determined to not take to the market their sugar following unfair competitors from smugglers who had been promoting their product at a throwaway price.

Recently, the Tanzania Sugar Producers Association director, Mr Seif Seif, informed reporters at a press convention that on account of smuggled sugar out there the 4 large companies had been unable to promote 80,000 tonnes of the product imported for home consumption between March and June, this year.

The amount represents 61.5 per cent of the 130,000 tonnes imported legally by the stated companies to fill the hole as local manufacturing throughout the interval stopped, to pave the best way for sugarcane harvest.

“Sugar prices are high despite the fact that many tonnes are unnecessarily kept in the warehouses,” lamented Mr Lubeleje, expounding that: “A kilogram of sugar is sold at around Sh2, 600 and Sh3, 000, which is unacceptable.”

The issues by a bit of MPs prompted the Industry, Trade and Investment minister Charles Mwijage to state the government’s place on the matter, saying already the state had shaped a job power to analyze the matter.

The team, in response to him, consists of members from the Fair Competition Commission, TFDA, TBS and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).

“I understand some unscrupulous traders are illegally using local brands to sell the illegally imported sugar. This is a serious economic crime,” warned Mr Mwijage.

Stakeholders of their survey discovered some sugar packed in sacks bearing Tanzanian companies’ brand, suggesting that the overseas sugar was introduced into the nation and repackaged as local manufacturers to hide it from authorities.

“This is a big blow to our local sugar processing companies that are already grappling with a myriad of market challenges. The government is working around the clock to put to task the culprits,” warned Mr Mwijage.

Last year for-instance, some 13 tonnes of sugar had been seized in Kagera Region by authorities as smugglers sought to illegally cross the border to Kenya with the consignment.

The product from the Kagera Sugar manufacturing facility was switched and packed into luggage from the South Nyanza Sugar Company Limited (Sony Sugar) of Kenya to try to dupe officials into considering that the product originated from the neighboring nation.

Also players within the business pointed an accusing finger at dishonest merchants, saying they’ve been taking to market the economic sugar within the identify of desk sugar of which, local producers stated was unhealthy for home consumption.



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