GOVERNMENT should ensure that Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds are made to all exporters so that they can continue to progress in increasing mining and manufacturing production to sustain and continue to create jobs, the Chamber of Mines of Zambia has said.
The Chamber has said that the non-payment of the withheld VAT refunds have had and continue to have a major adverse impact on the operations of the mining companies.
This is according to a statement released yesterday in Lusaka.
The Chamber of Mines has appealed to the government to urgently resolve issues surrounding VAT Rule 18.
“The cash flows have been seriously constrained following the withholding of the refunds resulting in many mining companies suspending, deferring, and cancelling capital projects among other undesirable actions to keep operations going.
“The effects of these actions are already being felt in the medium to long term, there will be a negative impact on mine production, production costs, suppliers of goods and services to the mining industry,” the Chamber said.
The Chamber said the mining industry needed to be nurtured for it to continue to generate revenues required to diverse the economy.
It stressed that the mining industry in Zambia will continue to be the engine of the economy for a long time to come hence the need for the relevant authorities to ensure it is safeguarded.
Government through the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) amended Rule 18 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) General Rules of 1997 to safeguard government revenue with effect from September 8, 2014.