Chamber of Mines welcomes VAT Rule 18 amendment

THE amendment of the Value Added Tax (VAT) General Administration Rule 18 which will result in the unblocking of over US$ 600 million owed to the mines will make the environment for doing business in Zambia attractive and free, the Chamber of Mines of Zambia has said.

Chamber of Mines of Zambia president Jackson Sikamo said the chamber had received the amendment of VAT Rule 18 with relief because what the organisation wanted was to have the mining industry and other exporters to be free to do business.

Mr Sikamo said the mining industry and other exporters would continue creating jobs for the Zambian people and attract foreign exchange into the country in an environment that would be attractive.

He said the Chamber of Mines of Zambia would be getting back to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to understand the full implication and the impact of the amendment of the VAT General Administration Rule 18.

“We received the amendment of the VAT Rule 18 with relief but we are going to get back to ZRA to understand the full implication and impact of the law. What we want is that the mining industry and other exporters to freely do business in Zambia and create jobs for the people,” Mr Sikamo said.

ZRA on Monday announced that it had amended the VAT Rule 18 following numerous concerns from various stakeholders in the administration of taxes and the amended rule comes into effect on 8th September 2014.

ZRA Commissioner General Berlin Msiska announced in a statement on Monday that VAT Rule 18 had always affected all exporters and not only those in the mining sector and the rule was meant to safeguard government revenue.

Some media house in connivance with some individuals have been using the rule to slander, malign and scandalize Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda and have since launched a crusade for the establishment of a tribunal to investigate him.

But People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti has rubbished the calls for a tribunal saying the people demanding for Mr Chikwanda’s resignation were sponsored and should be ignored because the Finance Minister had maintained professional decency and integrity.

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