Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has announced that Zambia will introduce new mining duties and increase royalties to help bring down mounting debt and cut its fiscal deficit.
Mrs Mwanakatwe announced this when she presented a K86.8 billion budget to Parliament this afternoon.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe announced plans to increase the country’s sliding scale for royalties of 3 to 9 percent by 1.5 percentage points.
The scale is adjusted so royalties are paid at higher levels as commodity prices climb and are reduced as prices fall.
A new 15 percent export duty on precious metals, including gold and gemstones, will be introduced, while copper and cobalt concentrate imports will incur a new 5 percent levy.
“As mineral resources are a depleting resource, it is vital to structure an effective fiscal regime for the mining sector to ensure that Zambians benefit from the mineral wealth our country is blessed with,” Mrs. Mwanakatwe said.
She said Zambia planned to cut its fiscal deficit to 6.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 from 7.4 percent this year.
Mrs Mwanakatwe also revealed that the Zambian economy was expected to grow at least 4 percent in 2019, around the same level as a forecast for this year.