Opposition political parties have demanded that government re-introduces windfall tax in view of revelations by Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal that Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) makes a minimum profit of $500 million profit per year.
A YouTube video taken in March 2014 Mr. Agarwal mockingly tells of how he bought Konkola Copper Mines for only US$25 million and how the mine has continuously been making a minimum of $500 million profit per year plus $1 billion.
United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has told QFM News in an interview that if government had reintroduced windfall tax the money could have been channeled to infrastructure development in the country.
Mr. Hichilema says the PF government should not wait for the opposition and other relevant stakeholders to remind them of the need to re-introduce windfall tax in view of such revelations.
The UPND leader adds that if the PF government is a descent government, it would not to wait for the revelation by the Vedanta Chairman of huge profits KCM is making but would have introduced the windfall tax when it took over office in 2011 as they promised.
And National Movement for Progress (NMP) President, Ng’andu Magande, says when he reminded the PF government of the need to reintroduce the windfall tax he was called him a lunatic.
Mr. Magande who introduced windfall tax during the time he served as Finance Minister before it was scrapped off by his predecessor Situmbeko Musokotwane says the PF have now seen the result of failing to reintroduce the tax.
Mr. Magande says it is common knowledge that many developing countries such as Zambia are losing billions of dollars in the extractive industry owing to poor policies.
Speaking in a separate interview, Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) President Father Frank Bwalya says the information coming from the Vedanta boss should not surprise Zambians because it was expected when the PF government refused to re-introduce the windfall tax.
Father Bwalya says remarks by the Vedanta Chairman confirm what various stakeholders have always said about the privatization of some of the country’s assets.
And the Zambia Revenue Authority is checking to establish whether claims by Vendanta Chairman that Konkola Copper Mines makes a minimum of $500 million in profit per year is at variance with profits declared.
Reliable sources at ZRA have told QFM News that if need be, tax adjustments with possible resultant penalties and interest will be made