Minister of Information and Media, Chushi Kasanda says her ministry has engaged the Ministry of Finance and National Planning over the possibility of a tax waiver on imported media equipment.
Ms Kasanda says considering the high import tax on imported media equipment and materials she feels has affected the smooth operations of the local media, her ministry has been engaging Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane led ministry on the possibility of a tax waver on the media equipment.
The Media and Information minister made the remarks during her tour of a number of media stands at the on-going National Agriculture and Commercial Show being held under the theme: “ Innovation through technology transforms business.”
“The PS and I have been in consultation with other Ministries including the Ministry of Finance and we are looking at the fact that most of the equipment you bring into the country is expensive so we are trying to see if we can find a waiver for that,” she said.
In view of the advanced technology in this Information Technology and Communication ( I.T.C ) era, especially, the local media continues to face operational hitches in procuring state of the art media equipment such as cameras and drowns other than printing press that often attract high taxes.
These operational challenges among others have grossly affected media operations and expansion in the country.
In addition to the above concerns, majority of journalists are poorly paid making them easy prey to their sources especially during election campaign time.
And commencing her tours of various media stands at the 94th Agriculture and Commercial show, Ms Kasanda begun with the ZANIS stand, followed by ZAMCOM and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) all housed in the same pavilion.
Accompanied by her Permanent Secretary Kennedy Kalunga and ministry officials , Ms Kasanda then proceeded to the ZNBC pavilion, where she urged the national broadcaster to improve on its viewership coverage .
“ This is by coming up with adverts during prime slots advertising popular entertainment programming, “ she emphasised.
Ms Kasanda also toured the Sun FM Radio and Television stand before wrapping up the tour with the Zambia Daily Mail and Times Printpak stand and lastly the Prime TV pavilion.
Speaking in an interview with journalists after the tour, the Minister commended the media houses for exhibiting at the show.
“I’m very happy with the way our media houses have exhibited this year. I’m sure there has been a lot of revenue that has been generated, all the stands have been filled up, looking at the fact that people were not able to exhibit in two years during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
The Minister also called for increased collaboration between the private and public media.