By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE much-anticipated mining “indaba” has finally kicked off with a view for Zambia to have a predictable and stable tax administration system which will result in a win-win situation for Government and the mining sector.
The mining industry and Government have for a long time been at logger heads following the current mining tax regime, among other issues believed not to be benefitting the industry.
President Edgar Lungu has however signalled Government’s determination to resolve policy and regulatory issues that investors had raised regarding investment in the mining sector.
The President acknowledged that the mining firms had constantly complained of being over taxed thereby making their investment unattractive.
President Lungu noted that a positive working relationship between Government and the mining industry was critical in promoting a sustainable, diversified and export orientated industry.
He said this yesterday in Lusaka yesterday at the 2021 Mining “indaba” in a speech read by Vice-President, Inonge Wina.
The two-day indaba is being held under the theme “Building for the Future: reflecting on Zambia’s Mining Taxation Policy Towards Sustainable Investment in the sector.”
“Mining taxation policy and the tax administration has been a topical issue in Zambia’s policy debate since the privatisation of the mines.
“At the heart of this is the question of how the Zambian Government can maximise revenues from its extractive sector without compromising the mining firms,”
President Lungu stressed the importance of contributing a fair share of taxes by the mining industry.
On the rising copper prices, President Lungu said they were good economic indicators which should be used to reboot the economy to growth.
Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Richard Musukwa, said the primary focus of the indaba was to come up with fiscal outcomes for the mining sector.
Mr Musukwa explained that these were meant to achieve a fair, consistent and predictable mining tax regime that meets the short, medium and long-term objectives of both Government and the investors.
Acting Finance Minister, Alexander Chiteme, reiterated Government’s commitment to design a more sustainable mining taxing regime policy.
Mr Chiteme indicated the Government was committed massive potential on the moning sector which needs investment. Zambia Chamber of Mines president, Godwin Beene, stressed commitment to help in rebooting the economy.