By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Zambia Chamber of Mines President Godwin Beene, says the 2022 National Budget measures announced last Friday, should be seen as a step in the right direction towards the full reform of the mining tax regime.
Dr Beene said that having inherited a national fiscus in disarray, the nation’s new Finance Minister, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, faced an uphill task in his first budget and was never going to be able to satisfy all demands.
Dr Beene said that Dr Musokotwane prioritised the urgently needed removal of the mineral royalty taxes non-deductibility, a clear indication to the world that Zambia is once again open for business.
“I am certain that the world’s mining investors will start to look at Zambia afresh after today. And this is what is needed if we are to see minerals ‘germinate’ and allow Government to reach its ambitious target of increasing copper production to three (3) million tonnes per year.
Further reform of the Zambian tax code will see renewed interest from investors and could lead to new mines reaching production over the next five to ten years. With the right stabilising policies in place, this could completely change our nation’s development trajectory,” he said.
Dr Beene said that they understand that the Finance Minister’s immediate priority was to stem the outflow of reserves in order to meet the nation’s debt obligations.
He said that this step is definitely in the right direction as the budget is a refreshingly prudent.
“Further work is needed on tax reform, along with guarantees of stability, if we are to attract the investments necessary to triple copper production. But with this hugely positive early signal, the mining industry stands ready to work collaboratively with the Government in its endeavour,” he said.