Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has announced that the proposed date of commencement for the sales tax is 1st July 2019 and not 1st April 2019 as earlier announced.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe says it was envisaged that the process of preparing for the abolishment of the Value Added Tax to pave way for the implementation of the sales tax would be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
She says as part of the process and the delicate nature of the assignment, it has been imperative that all suggestions and concerns raised by stakeholders are taken into consideration and this has taken more time than originally planned.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe told Parliament in a Ministerial statement that significant progress has been made and the draft for the new sales tax has been concluded and will be presented in the house for first reading on 2nd April 2019.
She said it is intended that the 2nd reading and the finalisation of the Bill by the house will be done during the June 2019 session.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe said during the intervening period, the Bill will undergo further consultations though the parliamentary committee and interaction by the Ministry of Finance with various other economic players.
She emphasised that this being a new law, government does not want to leave any stone un turned and remains committed to implementing a simplified non refundable tax regime that will a provide a win win situation for both government and the businesses.
Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini directed Mrs. Mwanakatwe to issues a Ministerial statement to update the house and the nation as a whole on the status quo of the sales tax.
Dr. Matibini was rendering a ruling on a point of Order raised by Chembe Member of Parliament Sebastian Kopulande who wanted to know when the Bill that introduces Sales Tax will be presented to parliament.