By Felix Andrew
THE Tanzanian government is in final touches to make some amendments on laws which will requires telecommunication firms to pay service fee for their towers countrywide.
This was said in a Parliament today, by the Deputy Minister in the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local government, Selemani Jafo, when responding to a supplementary question poised by Special seats legislator.
The lawmaker Ester Mahame (CCM) had wanted the government to explain as to when it will start to collect telecommunication towers service fees.
The levy is charged under the Laws of the United Republic of Tanzania: Local Government Finance act Cap 290 of 2002.
Responding, deputy minister, Jafo said the government intend to come with a law that would enable telecommunication firms to pay for their towers.
“We want those firms to pay for the towers service fees that would enable districts to properly implement their various social and economic development projects,” he said.
However, investigation show that most companies operating in Tanzania do not pay the service fee to the district authorities as required by law.
As per the Local Government Finances Act of 1982, the Service Levy should be a ‘tax’ payable by corporate entities to the local government authorities at a rate not exceeding 0.3 percent of the turnover net of the value added and the excise duty.
It was revealed that companies do not pay this type of tax because LGAs who are required to enforce payments of the same are sometimes silent, that is, they do not act on those who do not pay the levy.
Most of companies are not aware on this type of tax even some of tax auditor are not familiar with this levy.
LGAs were supposed to provide education to corporate entities so that they can improve their revenue to finance public projects and service to all residents of the respective local authority.