Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has said that he believes Commerce Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe was misquoted when she was quoted as saying the payment of taxes by mining companies under the new mining tax regime can be deferred until companies have sufficient cash flow if they are not in a position to pay immediately.
Speaking in Lusaka today during the signing of a US$52.5 million financing agreement for the Zambia Health Services Improvement Project (ZHSIP) between
he World Bank and the Zambian Government, Mr Chikwanda said that Mrs Mwanakatwe is aware of the government position on the matter, saying that issues to do with tax will be left to the Zambia Revenue Authority.
The World Bank and the Zambian Government have today signed a US$52.5 million financing agreement for the Zambia Health Services Improvement Project (ZHSIP).
And on the new loan signed Mr Chikwanda noted that the loan is highly concessional with terms such as service charge at 0.75%, commitment charge at 0.5%, with a repayment period of 40 years and grace period of 10 years.
Mr. Chikwanda added that the grant agreement in the amount of US$15 million to finance the project has also been signed.
He said that with this project in place, progress towards maternal and child health Millennium Development Goals will be accelerated.
He anticipates an increase in the availability of health and nutrition commodities and hopes that the project will strengthen referral linkages.
Mr. Chikwanda said that he had no doubt that the project will have a tremendous contribution to the health service provision in the country, especially in the undeserved and poorer provinces.
Speaking at the same event, World Bank Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe Kundhavi Kadiresan said that the bank’s support in the health sector has been growing over the years and that the bank has collaborated well with the Zambian government in implementing innovative high impact interventions.
Ms Kadiresan said that some of the bank’s successful projects in the health sector include the Zambian National Response to HIV/AIDS, the Malaria Booster PROJECT; the Results Based Financing Project, the Supply chain management initiative, and a series of analytical work.