Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu has said that he is optimistic that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) will next year surpass its tax revenue collection target and he is happy that the Authority this year has done well in terms of meeting its target in terms of revenue collection.
Speaking during a Deloitte Zambia Budget Breakfast meeting on Monday morning, Dr. Ng’andu hoped that the Authority will seal all leakages in the country’s taxation system so as to collect more.
“In the budget, I am trying to raise about K73 billion from taxes and grants. Now, this means that ZRA will have to do some serious running. It’s an ambitious budget,” he said.
Dr. Ng’andu stated that when ZRA closes the leakages in the country’s taxation system, they will be able to collect more money in form of taxes.
The Minister also indicated that Sales Tax will not be introduced anytime soon.
Speaking at the same meeting, Deloitte Zambia Chief Executive Officer Humphrey Mulenga said the ministry’s plan to face Zambia’s external debt challenge head-on, through implementation of austerity measures and refinancing of existing loans, is a positive move.
“Domestic Arrears: Your focus on dismantling domestic arrears is good. This should improve liquidity in the economy and assist, in part, to drive economic growth,” he indicated.
“Public Investment Board: Your constitution of a Public Investment Board that will be responsible for appraising major public investment projects, is an excellent initiative. As you are aware Hon Minister, in the private sector, capital projects are subjected to strict appraisal processes as a matter of course, as part of the decision making process on whether or not to proceed. It would be hard to find a good reason why public sector projects, which often involve much larger sums of money than private sector ones, should not be scrutinized and appraised, beforehand.”
On Sales Tax, Mr. Mulenga said the ministry’s swift call on the Sales Tax versus VAT issue, were in effect stakeholders had a dreadlock, is commendable.
He added that this takes away a significant uncertainty in the business environment and that the private sector and investors abhor uncertainty.
The Deloitte Zambia Chief Executive Officer also said the government’s resolve to accelerate energy reforms to attain cost reflective tariffs and ensure that the country is able to attract investments in alternative sources of energy, is welcome.