The Southern African Resource Watch(SARW) has attributed the low rate of payment of mineral royalty tax to the Zambian government, to instability in the country’s mining tax regime.
Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Dingani Banda recently disclosed that an internal verification audit revealed that only 183 companies out of 2,416 mines paid mineral royalty at the end of 2021 with at least 910 companies exporting minerals but not declaring mineral royalty.
SARW Researcher and Advocacy Officer , Edward Lange attributes this alarming revelation to the mining tax regime that is always made to suit mine owners and not Zambia, a lack of serious monitoring mechanisms and an unreliable reporting system, all of which need strengthening.
Mr. Lange suggests that the Ministries Of Finance, Mines And Commerce engage in a review aimed at making the Extractive Industry’s Transparency Initiative (EITI) into law by either embedding it into the mines and minerals act or creating it as a standalone legislation to guarantee transparency and accountability.
He also suggests that a code of conduct for political office bearers be put in place, to stop leaders from participating in certain businesses which renders them interested while recommending a strengthened reporting system and a long term mining tax fiscal regime.
During the week, The Zambia Revenue Authority expressed concern with the undervaluation of minerals. ZRA Commissioner General Dingani Banda said that s the undervaluation of minerals is affecting the collection of mineral royalties which are calculated based on the value.
Mr. Banda disclosed that ZRA has instituted investigations on companies exporting minerals but not declaring mineral royalties.
He was speaking when he inspected a truck laden with precious stones in Chongwe in the company of Zambia National Service Commander Lieutenant General MALITI SOLOCHI.
Meanwhile, General SOLOCHI requested ZRA to facilitate an orientation exercise for officers to acquaint them a valuation of minerals going forward.