By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT has pumped K2.9 billion in the economy as at last month to ensure that there is liquidity in the market, as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) exceeds its revenue collection.
ZRA has exceeded target for the first quarter of this year.
The injection of K2.9 billion has been done through Value Added Tax (VAT) refund by the ZRA.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager, Topsy Sikalinda, said Government, through ZRA, refunded K2.9 billion during the just ended quarter.
“In quest to comply with the VAT law and ensure there is liquidity into the economy, the Government through ZRA refunded a total of K2.9 billion during the just ended quarter,” Mr Sikalinda said in a statement yesterday.
Mr Sikalinda also said ZRA exceeded its first quarter target for 2020 by collecting K63.7 million above target amid the coronavirus outbreak in the world which has also affected the country.
He said the target for the first quarter was K13.1 billion and ZRA collected a surplus of K63.7 million.
“Despite the over performance during the quarter under review, we are already feeling the threat that COVID-19 poses to our revenue collection efforts because the business environment has already been negatively affected,” he said.
Mr Sikalinda however feared that a serious negative impact on revenue collections in the second quarter and possibly the entire year was expected due to the pandemic.
He attributed this to the decline in copper prices that had already affected mineral royalty tax and projections for corporate income tax from mining sector.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.2 per cent to US$4,872 a tonne, its highest since 25 March.
“It is also expected that all other taxes will be affected negatively but we are optimistic that the strategies we have put in place will mitigate the expected negative impact of COVID 19 on our economy,” he said.
Mr Sikalinda said ZRA would devise effective strategies to collect more revenue as the Zambian people needed Government services more than ever during this pandemic.
He appealed to our tax payers and importers to be tax compliant.
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU