JUSTICE minister Wynter Kabimba has clarified that there is nothing wrong with the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to collect Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fund from consumers.
Mr Kabimba said the funds were being collected in line with the ERB Act which mandates it to do so in accordance with the law.
He said the money collected goes towards the development of the energy sector in Zambia and for the use of the board for other programmes.
Mr Kabimba said this in a ministerial statement yesterday and in response to the Point of Order raised by Jack Mwiimbu who wanted to know why the ERB was collecting a levy from consumer on each litre of fuel bought.
He said section 20, Sub section two, Sub section c of the Energy Regulation Act chapter 436 of laws of Zambia gives power to the Board to charge and collect fees in respect of programme seminars and other services provided by the board.
“There is nothing sinister about it collection as it is backed by the constitution,” he said.
He said Article 114 sub article one of the constitution gives a provision of these article taxation shall not be imposed or altered except by or under an act of parliament.
He however state that the constitution has authorised parliament to delegate some of its powers of imposing or altering taxes to other bodies.
“Article 114 sub article two of our constitution provides the following except as provided by article 3 and 4, parliament shall not confer on any other person authority power to impose or alter otherwise than by reduction any taxation.
He said under clause three, parliament has been authorized to delegate some of its power to the president, vice president or minister who may impose or alter tax by way of an order.
This power has been delegated under the provision of the taxation provisions charging act cap 364 of the laws of Zambia.
He said when power delegate its power to another body is known a levy or user fee for a specific purpose.
The user fee is a money paid by an individual for particular services or facilities. Residents pay rate to council to provide services to enable council provide services to those residents.
He said it was under this law that the ERB collects funds for the use of the purposes above.