Chamber of Mines nods budget as first step to transformation of the mining industry

 Chamber of Mines nods budget as first step to transformation of the mining industry

By JOHN SAKAA
The Zambia Chamber of says the long awaited removal of mineral royalty non deductibility is first step towards a mining-led recovery

Having inherited a national fiscal in disarray, the nation’s new Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, had an uphill task and was never going to be able to satisfy all demands.

That he has prioritised the urgently needed removal of the mineral royalty taxes non deductibility is a clear indication to the world that Zambia is once again open for business, according to Dr Godwin Beene, President of the Zambia Chamber of Mines.

Dr Beene said the Budget measures announced yesterday should however be seen as a step in the right direction towards full reform of the mining tax regime.

“I am certain that the world’s mining investors will be looking at Zambia afresh after today. And that is what is needed if we are to see minerals ‘germinate’ and achieve the Government’s laudable ambition of increasing copper mining production to three million tonnes. Renewed interest from investors today could lead to new mines in production over the next five to ten years, and with the right supportive policies in place, that could completely change our nation’s development trajectory.

“We do understand that the Finance Minister’s immediate priority was to staunch the blood flow, the outpouring of precious funds to meet our debt obligations. This is a refreshingly prudent Budget, and most definitely a step in the right direction. With the ambition of more than tripling our copper mining production to three million tonnes further work is still require on mining tax reform and stability to maximise investment opportunities and the mining industry stand ready to work collaboratively with the Government in this endeavor,” he said.

The Independent Observer

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John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism