Introduce windfall tax , govt prodded

Consumer Unity & Trust Society has called on the Zambian government to seriously consider the many concerns being raised, not only by Zambians, but also by a good number of cooperating partners over the re-introduction of windfall taxes or consider hiking the mining taxes being paid by the mines.

CUTS-International Lusaka board Chairman, Ambassador Love Mtesa says by instituting the reintroduction of windfall taxes or raising mining taxes, Zambians would be able to get a fair share of proceeds from natural resources mined in the country.

He adds that it is common knowledge that the country’s national wealth must benefit Zambians more than anyone else.

Ambassador Mtesa firmly believes that serious and genuine investors could not be scared by the re-introduction of windfall taxes as they would still greatly benefit from profits.

He demands that the windfall tax be reinstated unconditionally because it was revenue on excessive profit on a graduated basis of copper prices.

He notes that while the Zambian government was dragging its feet over the re-introduction of the windfall tax, other countries such as Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo were making serious efforts to come up with mechanisms to generate more resources for workers, communities and their infrastructure development programmes.

Ambassador Mtesa has further advised government to also consider learning from Australia which had introduced a 40 percent tax on super profit by mines effective 2012 stating that these were the kind of efforts that should be replicated in a country like Zambia both in the short and medium term.

He further adds that there was need for the government to also consider implementing key provisions of the amended Mines and Minerals Development Act to enable communities benefit from mineral royalties and to clearly define policy on the use of the resources in order to promote national development.

And CUTS-International Lusaka programmes officer Simon Ng’ona has indicated that the failure by government to reach the mark up allocation of 10% to the agriculture sector as indicated in the Maputo declaration shows the true picture of government’s laxity to diversify the economy and make the sector excel beyond its current state.

He adds that the country has also been wavering to commit to programmes like the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) programme, being spearheaded by COMESA in region which is aimed at reinforcing the Maputo Declaration.

Mr Ng’ona says the economic planning for 2011 should have been seen as an opportunity to address the inefficiencies that have beset the agriculture sector.

This news can also be viewed at: