The Centre for Trade and Development (CTPD) has commended government for abolishing the tax holiday policy as announced in the 2018 national budget.
CTPD Trade Policy Programmes Assistant Emmanuel Muma said the pronouncement by the Minister of Finance Felix Mutati on the removal of the tax holiday on foreign investments is a welcome move.
Mr Muma said Civil Society Organisations (CSO) has always called on government to revise the tax system in the country for the benefit of the people.
Mr Muma was speaking during a workshop highlighting local level engagement in the 7th National Development Plan and the 2018 National Budget with regards to Children’s rights and participation in national development in Kitwe today.
Mr Muma said the move to remove the tax holiday and curb tax evasion should be welcomed by well-meaning Zambians.
Mr Muma however urged government to consider removing similar pieces of agreements such as the double taxation if they are to further curb revenue leakages and secure more revenue from the key economic sectors.
And Mr Muma appealed to Government and Members of Parliament as they debate the budget to revise expenditure targets under education, health and social protection programmes by realigning spending from other less pressing areas within sector allocations.
Mr Muma added that government should ensure equitable targeting of the most vulnerable households and children for all social benefits such as the social cash transfer especially for child headed households and those hosting children with disabilities.
He further recommended that maternal and child health, nutrition and reproductive health should have increased allocations in the budget.
He said there was need to invest more in research and development as it is an important instrument in promoting economic diversification in the country.
Meanwhile Mr Muma has called for strengthened policies on child participation in issues of national development by ensuring that their views are heard.
Mr Muma said CTPD has observed that policy makers have continued to impose polices on the young people without consulting them.
He said there was need for policy makers to empower youths and children with knowledge adding that providing them with a platform will guarantee their inclusion in national development.