Energy expert Johnstone Chikwanda has said that the further six months extension of the suspension of customs and excise duty on the importation of petroleum products will see the government lose about K3 billion in revenue.
Finance minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane has authorized customs duty for petrol, diesel, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas imported into Zambia to remain suspended until 30 June 2022.
Mr. Chikwanda, however, said that the decision by the government to continue with the policy of waiving tax on imported fuel which was initially implemented last year by the previous regime in an attempt to avoid a fuel price hike simply means that the government is trying to be sensitive and cognizant to the needs of the consumers and retailers.
Mr. Chikwanda explained that the development gives relief to the consumers and oil importers because fuel prices will not go up any time soon and the importers do not need extra money to pay for the taxes.
Mr. Chikwanda has noted the need for government to seriously engage with stakeholders and the public before it can actually reinstate the taxes.
This week Dr. Musokotwane extended the suspension of customs and excise duty on petroleum products. In Statutory Instrument No.2 of 2022, dated 11th January 2022, the excise duty on petroleum and diesel remains suspended until 30th June 2022.
To prevent fuel increase, the previous government suspended the collection of these taxes(customs duty, excise duty, and VAT) by the Zambia Revenue Authority.