Government says the decline in the contribution of the mining sector to government revenue is to a large extent attributed to the lack of a transparent and fully compliant mining industry.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the US$12.6 million MoU for mineral value chain monitoring project with key stakeholders in Lusaka today, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba recalls that just after independence, the mining industry contributed in excess of 25 percent of GDP per annum in total tax revenues.
Mr. Yamba says the inability by the relevant government institutions to efficiently and effectively monitor mining operations has proved to be a source of concern for government and other stakeholders at large.
Mr. Yamba states that this is the reason why government mandated the Zambia Revenue Authority to work in collaboration with other key institutions involved in the regulation of the industry and effectively monitor the operations of the mines.
He says the MoU commences the implementation of a system for a monitoring the exploitation of Zambia’s minerals from exploration to value addition or export.
The Secretary to the Treasury says the system will now provide government with an informed, transparent and non-discriminatory platform for the monitoring of the industry.
Speaking at the same event, Norwegian Ambassador to Zambia Arve Ofstad says for a long time there has been discrepancies in data and information about the actual volumes of production and exports of copper and other minerals.
Mr. Ofstad says the reason for such discrepancies need not be willful deception, but could be because of different definitions and criteria; different timings; different accounting for trade in between companies with and without smelters.
Speaking earlier, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Berlin Msiska says the system will provide government with adequate information to monitor the mineral value chain.