No more Maize Export Bans, Government to remove the 10% maize tax-Mutati

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Finance Minister Felix Mutati
Finance Minister Felix Mutati

Finance Minister Felix Mutati has assured the private sector that government will ensure there are no more export bans. Mr Mutati said that government will also remove the ten percent tax on maize exports following an outcry from the concerned stakeholders.

Mr Mutati said that the government will see to it that it facilitates simplification of documents at border entry points to allow smooth trade within the African region.

Mr Mutati said that the Zambian government will also engage East African countries by Monday to smoothen the trading agreements so that there is more regional trade.

The Finance Minister was speaking in Lusaka today at the Regional Grain Trade Facilitation Forum organized by the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and the Zambia Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE).

Speaking at the same meeting, Eastern Africa Grain Council Executive Director Gerald Masila said that it is an undeniable fact that African countries do not trade with each other sufficiently.

Mr Masila said that the meeting is therefore aimed at bringing together buyers and sellers with a view of increasing trade in the region.

Meanwhile, Zambia’s major mines are not exporting copper concentrate, Chamber of Mines Chief Nathan Chishimba said today, reacting to a call by the Mineworkers Union of Zambia that such exports should be banned.

MUZ General Secretary Joseph Chewe was quoted in a news report last week saying that government should ban the export of copper concentrate by mining companies, because refining it into finished cathode copper is “giving jobs to other countries”.

Mr. Chishimba said: “This call for a ban suggests there are massive exports of copper concentrate that need to be stopped. We don’t quite know where this is coming from, as the facts paint a very different picture.”

He said none of the large mines are exporting copper concentrate.

“It makes no economic sense anyway, because Zambia’s smelters are currently not running at full capacity, and are struggling to find enough concentrate to process. Concentrate is even being imported from the Democratic Republic of Congo to keep certain smelters operating efficiently,” he said.

“If there is any exporting of copper concentrate by Zambian mines, it is probably being done “at the margins” by very small-scale producers who are unable to have their copper concentrate processed locally for reasons related to their quality.”

“Smelters are complex pieces of infrastructure designed to handle copper concentrate only of a certain kind and quality,” said Chishimba. “If anyone is exporting concentrate, incurring all the additional taxes and expense of doing so, one can only assume the concentrate cannot be processed locally.”

In any event, Mr. Chishimba said, the answer to job creation in Zambia is not to ban legitimate business activity, but to grow the economy and make it more competitive.

“We cannot ban our way to prosperity and employment,” he said.

As for the MUZ leader’s statement that all copper concentrate produced in Zambia should be refined into finished copper cathode locally, Mr. Chishimba said Zambia does not have the refining capacity to do this.

Converting anode copper (95% pure) into cathode copper (99.95% pure) is done in a refinery through a process known as electrorefining.

Zambia only has two refineries, and their capacity is not sufficient to handle all the copper anode produced by the Zambian mining industry.

“In any event, it is a relatively low value-add process, and it is also extremely power-intensive – an important consideration given Zambia’s current power deficit.”

Mr. Chishimba said it would be more helpful if stakeholders addressed their concerns directly with the industry in a spirit of dialogue and engagement, rather than making statements to the media without full knowledge of the facts.

11 COMMENTS

    • +3
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      I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THIS FLIP_FLOP STANCE ON MAIZE EXPO- CLEARLY SHOWS A LACK OF POLICY ACUMEN. MINISTRIES OF FINANCE AND AGRICULTURE SHOULD HARMONIZE THEIR VOICE ON THIS.
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      That is why we have CABINETS, there should be inter-ministerial interests and policies to compare notes so as to avoid conflicts and interests. Today the Ministry of Agriculture says the 10% will usher in jobs tomorrow the Ministry of Agriculture says it has caused stakeholder outcry. Which one ushers in true benefits to Zambians? The two ministries should blocker a win-win situation to the both points of interests which shouldn’t be very much subjective but objective for Zambia.

    • +2
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      I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THIS FLIP_FLOP STANCE ON MAIZE EXPO- CLEARLY SHOWS A LACK OF POLICY ACUMEN. MINISTRIES OF FINANCE AND AGRICULTURE SHOULD HARMONIZE THEIR VOICE ON THIS.
      ===================================
      That is why we have CABINETS, there should be moments for inter-ministerial (bilateral and multilateral) interaction on interests and policies to compare notes so as to avoid conflicts and interests. Today the Ministry of Agriculture says the 10% will usher in jobs tomorrow the Ministry of Agriculture says it has caused stakeholder outcry. Which one ushers in true benefits to Zambians? The two ministries should blocker a win-win situation to the both points of interests which shouldn’t be very much subjective but objective for Zambia.

  1. +1
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    ECL should watch Mutati. He’s not loyal to PF. Well, he’s not PF to begin with. The earlier he’s removed the better.

    A few years ago, Nawakwi warned PF that MMD will take over your Party but they never listened. Mutati will be President of MMD/PF. Mark my words.

  2. +5
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    “10 % tax slapped on Maize export is meant to create employment”-Dora Siliya. LT
    May 30, 2017

    Typical Chipante chipante cluless bunch of Lazy Lungu.

  3. 0
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    We asked for that 10 percent export tax on maize to be waived and God has answered our prayers! Well done Mr President Sir God bless you.

  4. 0
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    Zambians, how dull can we really be? How can we b shouting on top of our throats against a tax. A tax involving maize going out of the country? How? That maize is leaving Z, fo use by other pipo in another country. What’s wrong with the pipo who r taking it out just paying boma something? What’s wrong with that? The benefit of gayaring that maize will not come to Z. The maize is going. Let them just pay Govt smthng. Govt has too much nkongole to pay. Let’s the tax be!!!! What kind of pipo r Zambians kanshi?

    • +3
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      Are you sure you live in the USA? you thinking like a grade 3

    • +3
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      @ TheEngineer (Australia now Germany)

      What else can you expect from the member of Plunderers Federation “intelligentsia”?

    • +2
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      These are people mopping floors in the US the type that only hang out with the main demographic that voted for trump.

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