Opposition New Hope Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) National Youth Secretary Mr. Gregory Mofu has said that the economic measures announced by PF led Government are meaningless as they will not impact the Ordinary Zambian.
The Minister of Finance Hon. Ngandu Bwalya on Friday had a presser at Mulungushi Conference Hall where he announced a number of economic measures amid to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 on Zambian Citizenry.
Mr. Mofu in a statement this morning said that the MMD expected that the PF government would extend the suspension of duty to essential food item imports, and further reduce the VAT on all essential food products.
“While We as the New Hope MMD recognize that the measure to suspend the excise duty of on imported ethanol for use in alcohol-based sanitizers and other medicine-related activities is progressive, we note with concern that the PF government has taken no other measure to reduce the tax liability, and cost liability on citizens for essential items during this period. We would have expected that the PF government extends the suspension of duty to essential food item imports, and further reduced the VAT on all essential food products”, Mr. Mofu said.
Mr. Mofu further said that it unfortunate that the Minister of Finance didn’t give fiscal relief to Local Industries.
“While the statement by the Minister noted the critical role of local producers and their products during this period, nothing has been done as a measure to ensure incentivize their role. We expected the PF government to give fiscal relief to local industries producing and providing essential goods and services as a way to keep either much-needed businesses alive and at full production in this critical period”, Mr. Mofu said.
Mr. Mofu then questioned the move by the Government to give relief to the Mining Industry.
“ Lastly but not the least, We note with concern that the during this critical time, the PF government has chosen to further incentivize the export-oriented mining sector by giving them relief in some of the VAT payments, suspending import duties on the importation of concentrates and removing export duty on precious metals. This is questionable; it does not seem to work for increased revenue generation for the government to respond to any effects that the COVID_19 has had on the Zambian economy”, Mr. Mofu wondered.