MINES minister Christopher Yaluma says the anticipated K2.3 billion revenue loss from the reversed 2015 mining tax regime is ‘not real’.
The government expects a revenue loss of about K2.3 billion from its decision to reverse the 2015 mining tax regime to the double-tier system.
Cabinet recently agreed to return to a 30 per cent corporate income tax and put mineral royalties at nine per cent, a measure expected to be implemented on July 1, once the bill has been approved by Parliament.
The changed mining tax regime implemented in January introduced a single tax system and raised royalties to 20 per cent for open cast mining and eight per cent for underground operations from the previous six per cent.
But speaking to journalists after opening the Mining Expo at Mist Gardens in Kitwe on Tuesday, Yaluma said the loss that was being talked about was not real.
“The much talked about K2 billion is a figure from a wish list of things that will be done. The budget is always flexible; you can implement, you can spend, defer or transfer to another activity. This [K2.3 billion loss] is just something which is not real; it’s not tangible. We are just working with something that should guide us but the loss is not there. It’s a budget line we are thinking of,” he said.
Yaluma said the budget was being changed in the best interest of the nation and that was why the government was taking it back to Parliament for the endorsement of the new mineral royalty tax.
He said whatever was projected would change once the amendment of the tax regime is approved by Parliament.
“We are going to have a new target to look at, which is projected to be realised from the new mineral royalty tax,” Yaluma said.
And Yaluma said the government was pursuing a mining policy aimed at ensuring a conducive environment to encourage private investment in the exploitation of minerals.
He said this was expected to result in the development of a profitable and sustainable private sector driven mining industry contributing to the development of the country.
“Government acknowledges the importance of stable policy and regulatory framework for the mining industry. The revision of the mineral resources policy in 2013 and the on-going review of the mines and minerals development Act of 2008 are among some of the measures government has undertaken to ensure continued existence of a favourable investment climate and maximise benefits from the sector. In developing this framework, government has consulted all the stakeholders to ensure that the policy and legal framework are acceptable by all,” said Yaluma.