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Tanzania: Govt Tightens Screws On Forex Trade

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The Tanzanian government has imposed new measures, including having a capital of about 1bn /- for a businessman who wants to run a foreign exchange business in the country.

This was stated by the Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning, Mr Hamad Masauni, while answering a supplementary question from Priscus Tarimo (Moshi Urban-CCM) in Parliament in Dodoma recently.

He noted that the survey conducted showed that some businessmen of such shops were previously doing the business by circulating customers’ money, a move that enabled the government to increase the level of capital from 300m/- to 1bn/-.

In his question, the Member of Parliament (MP) explained that the strict conditions imposed by the government on traders have led to a limited response and therefore wanted to know if there is a need to loosen up those conditions.

He also wanted to know the fate of businessmen’s assets including various documents that were taken by the government from them during the operation at foreign exchange shops.

Giving the government statement on the issue, the deputy minister urged all businessmen, who did not collect their documents or receive them to go to the relevant authorities and have them back.

In the basic question, the MP wanted to know the fate of the foreign exchange business following the government decision to close various shops across the country.

Responding, Mr Masauni said that some foreign exchange shops were closed after being found that they were operating illegally.

He was, however, quick to point out that companies wishing to conduct such business are allowed to apply for a license from the Bank of Tanzania (BOT).

“These shops and companies are allowed to apply for the license from the Central Bank in accordance with the requirements of the 1992 Foreign Exchange Law of 1992 and the Foreign Exchange Regulations of 2019,” he said.

As of July 30, 2021, the deputy minister said, the BOT had received four new foreign exchange trading license applications, which are being analysed and the operators would be licensed if they meet the required criteria.

Mr Masauni pointed out that in the audit conducted in 2018/19 caused many foreign exchange shops to close after being found that they were doing the business without complying with applicable laws and regulations.

Following the closure of the stores, according to him, commercial banks in the country were encouraged to continue providing foreign exchange services at all its branches in the country.

“Presently, all commercial banks offer such services throughout the country. Also, shops that were not closed have continued to open branches and provide such services in various cities in the country.

In general, the availability of foreign exchange services in the country is satisfactory,” he said

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