- Mr Sinkamba was reacting to revelations that billions of dollars were being siphoned out of the country by large mining companies in unreported profit remittances.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO
GOVERNMENT should urgently come up with a mechanism that will seal loopholes and stop mining companies from evading paying taxes and minerals loyalties, says Green Party (GP) president Peter Sinkamba
Mr Sinkamba was reacting to revelations that billions of dollars were being siphoned out of the country by large mining companies in unreported profit remittances.
He said “cooking” of figures by mining companies has resulted in the country losing huge sums of money in unpaid taxes and other statutory declarations.
Mr Sinkamba said the creation of a department at the Ministry of Mines called the Mineral Accountability Department (MAD) to account for the minerals that are being mined and exported will help the country benefit from its abundant natural resources.
He said this was the only way Government through Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was going to know each ounce of minerals being extracted and exported.
“Once this is put in place, we will be able to compare figures of what was being extracted and how mining companies are paying in terms of taxes,” Mr Sinkamba said.
He said at the moment, the country has no real time reporting in the minerals that were being exported, making it difficult for the ZRA to ascertain correct export values.
Mr Sinkamba said the current monitoring system, the Mineral Output Statistical Evaluation System (MOSES) was not working well for the country because the mining companies had found loopholes to evade paying taxes.
“MOSES is being manipulated by mining companies because there are no officers from the ministry of Mines that are permanently placed at mines to monitor production,” he said.
Mr Sinkamba called for a full implementation of the Mines Act that empowers officers from the ministry to demand all documents related to mineral production to determine how much was being produced.
As Zambia struggles with debt, billions of dollars are being siphoned out of the country by large mining companies in unreported profit remittances, a recent study has revealed.
The study by the Developing Economics titled Haemorrhaging Zambia: ‘Prequel to the Current Debt Crisis’ states that massive outflows of private wealth over the past 15 years, reached peaks of almost 20 percent of GDP in 2012, and over seven percent as recently as 2017.
It states that the outflows were mostly related to the large mining companies that dominate the country’s international trade.
“Through this analysis, we have identified massive outflows of private wealth over the past fifteen years, reaching peaks of almost 20 percent of GDP in 2012, 15 percent of GDP in 2015, and over seven percent of GDP as recently as 2017.