The Emerald and Semi Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia has thanked President Edgar Lungu for dropping Lusaka Central PF Member of Parliament Margaret Mwanakatwe as Finance Minister replacing her with Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor Dr. Bwalya Ngandu.
The dropping of Mrs. Mwanakatwe is a clear show that President Lungu means well for this country because he makes decisions in the best interest of the nation.
Association President Victor Kalesha said Mrs. Mwanakatwe had failed in some areas in diligently performing effectively in her position at the Ministry of Finance.
Mr. Kalesha has since congratulated Dr. Ngandu for his appointment as the new Finance Minister and describing it as a well deserved appointment.
He has advised Dr. Ngandu to immediately address the issue raised by key stakeholders on the issue of taxes by meeting stakeholders and listen to their grievances.
Mr. Kalesha said there is need to take keen interest immediately on the cry from gemstone miners of the new introduced taxes especially the export tax which is an industry killer.
“It’s important that we get to terms on a dialogue table to discuss a win win situation with government in regard to taxes stakeholders are complaining about which we feel Comrade Margaret Mwanakatwe failed to address”, he said.
He has since called for an immediate meeting with the new Minister of Finance to iron out concerns that may cripple the gemstones industry.
Mr. Kalesha reiterated that some of these taxes can make the industry un-investable and has called for the abolishment of the 15 percent export tax which seems a thorn to the mining and marketing of emeralds.