Zambia rakes in K4 billion from mining mineral taxes, Chikwanda

Zambia finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda

Zambia’s quest to raise resources from the mineral wealth surged last year with the reported collection of more than K4 billion in various mineral related taxes as the copper-rich country gained fresh ratings on the economy.

President Michael Sata has since ascending to office on 20 September 2011 embarked on massive infrastructure development countrywide, upgrading and building new schools, hospitals, roads, railways and other related projects as the country strives to attain a middle income status by 2030.

Addressing lawmakers, June 19 finance minister Alexander Chikwanda said a total K4.36 billion was realized in revenue from mining companies during the period between January to December 2013.

The total revenue collected, K1.76 billion was from mineral royalty; K1.08 billion was from company tax while K1.52 billion was from Pay as you earn, Chikwanda said in response to lawmakers during deliberations in the house.
The lawmakers had sought the Government’s position on how much revenue was collected from mining companies from January to December, 2013, which Chikwanda stated that the amount collected from mineral tax and corporate tax represented 18 per cent of the total revenue collected in 2013.
One of the lawmakers, Patrick Mucheleka was concerned at the low revenues being collected from the mining sector, which Chikwanda clarified and said that Government was currently working out modalities to ensure that more tax was collected from the mines.

The Government plans to present to the House, soon, its intention to adjust mining taxes and the remedial measures but that it was not easy for Government on its own to adjust the mining taxes but would require the involvement of the rest of the members of Parliament.

“We have unanimously agreed that the mining taxes should be adjusted, it is just a matter of legality because modalities are already on course,” Chikwanda said.
Another lawmaker, Catherine Namugala noted that Zambia needed to benefit from the mining sector now since the mineral resource was a diminishing one. Another lawmaker, Highvie Hamududu was saddened that the debate on mining taxes had gone on for too long and urged Government to bring to an end the debate by reviewing mining tax laws.

In 2008, then President Levy Mwanawasa enacted the windfall tax which it was envisaged would assist the country realize US$4145 million annually from its mineral wealth to be ploughed into the social sector.

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