CSO rues Zambia’s ‘missed chance’ on windfall tax

THE Consumer Unity Trust Society (CUTS) says it is saddened by Government’s failure to include the windfall tax on minerals in the 2013 national Budget. CUTS programmes officer Tommy Singongi said Zambia could have benefitted greatly had windfall tax been re-introduced.

He said the country had lost another opportunity to get benefits from minerals because of Government’s failure to re-introduce windfall tax. Mr Singongi said the civil society in Zambia expected the windfall tax to be included in the 2013 Budget.

“The country has lost another opportunity to get benefits from the country’s endowments.

“Introducing windfall tax is the only way the Government can get revenue instead of ordinary citizens subsidising the mines,” Mr Singongi said. The Government scrapped off the 25 per cent windfall tax in 2009 following complaints from mine owners in the country that it raised production costs and discouraged investment.

But Mr Singongi said copper and other minerals were wasting assets, hence the reason for demanding for more revenue from it which the Government could plough into the economy. The civil society organisations (CSO) in the country had earlier this year proposed to the Government the re-introduction of windfall tax for mining companies in the 2013 Budget.

The CSOs argued that there was need for equitable benefits from “super normal” profits enjoyed by the mining companies during periods of high copper and cobalt prices.

This was contained in joint submissions on tax and non-tax proposals for the 2013 national Budget to the Ministry of Finance. Mr Singongi, however, said all hope was not lost because the Government could still re-negotiate with the mine owners in the country the windfall tax.

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